Dear all/colleauge or dear all/colleague

On our page about business letter writing phrases we listed the rules for when lớn use Yours sincerelyYours faithfully. Quite a few users of the site have sầu asked if there are any similar rules for writing emails.

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In answer lớn the question, I think there are two things to consider.

Firstly, emails have a short history compared with that of letters, & consequently there are no fixed rules. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no etiquette for emails – there definitely is.

the formal email (business, work-related)the informal gmail (usually to lớn friends or acquaintances).

Obviously a formal gmail will require different phrases and language style to lớn an informal email written to, say, a frikết thúc.
Here are some examples of the way I usually start and end business emails.

When we know the recipient’s name:

Dear Mr SmithRegards
Dear Mrs ColesRegards
Dear Miss JonesRegards

When writing to a colleague or cthua thảm business partner:

Dear VladimirBest regards / Best wishes
Dear AnnemarieBest regards / Best wishes

A friendlier khung here would be to lớn write Hi Vladimir, Hi Annemarie. This is comtháng at many companies.

When addressing more than one person:

Gentlemenformal (lớn several male colleagues)Regards
Dear Allformal (to lớn several colleagues)Regards
Hello, everyoneinformal (lớn several colleagues)Use an informal cthảm bại, relevant to the content of the tin nhắn.
Hi, everyoneinformal, friendly (to several colleagues)Use an informal cthua kém, relevant to the nội dung of the email.

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These are the guidelines that I use for my business emails. However, I appreciate that trends come and go, & that etiquette can differ from country khổng lồ country and from company lớn company.

What vì you use in your email? Do you prefer any other phrases, such as Warm regards or Warmest regards? Please leave a comment below & tóm tắt your opinion with everyone.

If you’re interested in learning more about writing business emails, kiểm tra out our Business Correspondence e-book here.


Stuart is an English teacher và runs the trang web. He currently lives in Prague và has been teaching for over 25 years. ⎜Liên hệ Stuart

Carla - February 23, năm trước, 6:31 pm Reply

Should I capitalize the first letter of the word everyone when I write a salutation? On your web everyone is writing in lower cases but I’ve seen it writing differently; for example: Hi Everyone.


Stuart Cook - February 23, 2014, 9:49 pm Reply

Carla,Using a capital letter (Dear All, Hello Everyone, etc.) probably does indicate a little more respect & may be useful for more formal emails and/or when addressing superiors. In the over, I think it’s a matter of personal choice – I’d stichồng to lớn lower case in informal emails.


leah - March 27, 2014, 1:46 pm Reply

Is it okay to say ‘okay’ when replying to a formal letter?


Margaret - April 29, 2014, 11:49 am Reply

I have a question related to ending a formal letter. If we write a formal inquiry or ohter business type letter, is it recommended khổng lồ put additional information about our sex in order to introduce ourselves lớn a recipient.For instance:

(Mrs) Margaret Miller

Thanks for a reply.

Bhargav Sai - June 30, 2014, 8:24 am Reply

Thank you for this article. I have always wondered about how I could write effective sầu emails that communicate my intentions well to lớn the clients. I have been using “Hi” in my mails at the beginning, because “Dear” is used by no one in my organization. Even my clients who work for very reputable International Organizations don’t use the word “Dear”. Hence, using “Dear” makes me a little uncomfortable.

Would it be convenient to write “Hi” instead of “Dear” or would you suggest any other word I could use?

Liudmila - February 11, năm ngoái, 9:07 pm Reply

Dear Stuart, could you please bình luận on a salutation like this “dear colleagues”, “hello, colleagues” or simply “Colleagues” in terms of authenticity and implications of hierachy (who’s writing to lớn whom). In the company where I teach it’s a very sensitive issue. Thanks!

Stuart Cook - February 11, năm ngoái, 11:37 pm Reply

Hi, LludmilaIt’s hard to comment without knowing the nội dung of the tin nhắn. The salutation may change depending on whether the tin nhắn is congratulatory, has a stern tone, gives bad news, etc. Dear colleagues is quite neutral, I think (for a trùm writing lớn his team), whereas he may write To all employees/colleagues when writing more serious news.

Liudmila - February 12, 2015, 5:43 pm Reply

What about “Hello colleagues” written by an employee lớn several recepients including his immediate manager, a representative sầu of their customer and a couple of team members of the same status on the project? To give you a clearer idea, it’s IT sphere i’m concerned about. In general, project problems are discussed, solutions suggested, etc…

Lomo Senoamadi - February 23, năm ngoái, 3:48 pm Reply

I am a supplier I want to send targeted clients emails asking for a meeting lớn do presentations. I want to know how lớn start the letter and kết thúc it

tiffany - October 27, năm nhâm thìn, 4:55 pm Reply

Do we need lớn include comma when writing “Dear Colleagues” in formal business email?

NADER - December 26, 2017, 10:03 am Reply

is it correct lớn start an e mail with ” DEARS ” ?.

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Eric Mead - January 22, 2018, 7:13 pm Reply

Is “Gentlemen” appropriate when the recipient is an unknown male or female? For example, I sent an tin nhắn khổng lồ a generic dept at a university not knowing who would respond. My wife tells me my address was outdated & sexist!??

LucyGoosey - April 6, 2018, 2:21 am Reply

Often I see emails like this: “Hi Jenny” or “Hello all,” both of which are missing a direct address comma. Almost everyone omits the direct address comma, và I was wondering if I am right lớn continue using it even though others have chosen to lớn abandon this grammar rule?


Zuzana - April 30, 2018, 7:56 am Reply

Is possible to lớn open an email by Dear business partners? Thank you for answering.

Niteesh - February 11, 2021, 11:03 am Reply

Hi Stuart,

Say if I am addressing numerous males và females in an email, is it appropriate khổng lồ address by typing “Gentlemen and ladies”

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