On our page about business letter writing phrases we listed the rules for when to use Yours sincerely and Yours faithfully. Quite a few users of the site have asked if there are any similar rules for writing emails.
Đang xem: Dear all/colleauge or dear all/colleague
In answer to the question, I think there are two things to consider.
Firstly, emails have a short history compared with that of letters, and 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 email (usually to friends or acquaintances).
Obviously a formal email will require different phrases and language style to an informal email written to, say, a friend.
Here are some examples of the way I usually start and end business emails.
When we know the recipient’s name:
|Dear Mr Smith||Regards|
|Dear Mrs Coles||Regards|
|Dear Miss Jones||Regards|
When writing to a colleague or close business partner:
|Dear Vladimir||Best regards / Best wishes|
|Dear Annemarie||Best regards / Best wishes|
A friendlier form here would be to write Hi Vladimir, Hi Annemarie. This is common at many companies.
When addressing more than one person:
|Gentlemenformal (to several male colleagues)||Regards|
|Dear Allformal (to several colleagues)||Regards|
|Hello, everyoneinformal (to several colleagues)||Use an informal close, relevant to the content of the email.|
|Hi, everyoneinformal, friendly (to several colleagues)||Use an informal close, relevant to the content of the email.|
These are the guidelines that I use for my business emails. However, I appreciate that trends come and go, and that etiquette can differ from country to country and from company to company.
What do you use in your email? Do you prefer any other phrases, such as Warm regards or Warmest regards? Please leave a comment below and share your opinion with everyone.
If you’re interested in learning more about writing business emails, check out our Business Correspondence e-book here.
Stuart is an English teacher and runs the taobontreem.com website. He currently lives in Prague and has been teaching for over 25 years. ⎜Contact Stuart
Carla – February 23, 2014, 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 and may be useful for more formal emails and/or when addressing superiors. In the end, I think it’s a matter of personal choice – I’d stick to 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 to put additional information about our sex in order to introduce ourselves to 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 emails that communicate my intentions well to 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, 2015, 9:07 pm Reply
Dear Stuart, could you please comment on a salutation like this “dear colleagues”, “hello, colleagues” or simply “Colleagues” in terms of authenticity and implications of hierachy (who’s writing to whom). In the company where I teach it’s a very sensitive issue. Thanks!
Stuart Cook – February 11, 2015, 11:37 pm Reply
Hi, LludmilaIt’s hard to comment without knowing the content of the email. The salutation may change depending on whether the email is congratulatory, has a stern tone, gives bad news, etc. Dear colleagues is quite neutral, I think (for a boss writing to 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 to several recepients including his immediate manager, a representative 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, 2015, 3:48 pm Reply
I am a supplier I want to send targeted clients emails asking for a meeting to do presentations. I want to know how to start the letter and end it
tiffany – October 27, 2016, 4:55 pm Reply
Do we need to include comma when writing “Dear Colleagues” in formal business email?
NADER – December 26, 2017, 10:03 am Reply
is it correct to start an e mail with ” DEARS ” ?.
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 email to a generic dept at a university not knowing who would respond. My wife tells me my address was outdated and 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, and I was wondering if I am right to continue using it even though others have chosen to abandon this grammar rule?
Zuzana – April 30, 2018, 7:56 am Reply
Is possible to open an email by Dear business partners? Thank you for answering.
Niteesh – February 11, 2021, 11:03 am Reply
Say if I am addressing numerous males and females in an email, is it appropriate to address by typing “Gentlemen and ladies”