What is an appropriate salutation for multiple addressees in a business letter?
November 13, 2006 1:31 PM   Subscribe

What is an appropriate salutation for multiple addressees in a business letter? "To whom it may concern" is too generic and awkward because I know exactly whom the letter concerns, and something like "Dear Friends" doesn't work because I'm often writing letters to people who aren't exactly my friends. Please help me find something in the middle.
posted by greasy_skillet to Writing & Language (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: "Hello" ?
posted by edgeways at 1:34 PM on November 13, 2006


"Dear Sir or Madam". Alternately, "Dear Madam or Sir".

But, it is far, far better to find out the appropriate name, and to use it, "Dear Ms Felderwhaperburger"
posted by QIbHom at 1:35 PM on November 13, 2006


Best answer: I often just use "Greetings!" or a similar salutation, without "naming" the addressee(s) at all.
posted by winston at 1:35 PM on November 13, 2006


Greetings! I kiss you!

*ahem* I've seen "Dear all" used, but that may not be formal enough, depending on the situation.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:41 PM on November 13, 2006


"Dear Colleagues"
posted by annaramma at 1:42 PM on November 13, 2006


Best answer: Ladies and Gentlemen?

This is used a lot in business dealings with gov agencies.
posted by subtle-t at 1:46 PM on November 13, 2006


Best answer: It is fairly formal and old school, but I frequently see "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen" or, if they are all men, "Dear Gentlemen". (I don't see a lot of all "Ladies" letters, unfortunately, but the same would apply.)
posted by ubu at 1:46 PM on November 13, 2006


I use Hello All a lot. But if all the addressees have the same job or title I'll sometimes address emails to them that way, a la, Hello Project Managers.
posted by sulaine at 1:50 PM on November 13, 2006


I always use Dear All.

I feel it's a bit informal for letters, but in email I think it's fine.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:01 PM on November 13, 2006


I use "To Whom It Concerns". This is unambiguous and works whether or not you actually know whom it concerns.
posted by trip and a half at 3:24 PM on November 13, 2006


It'd certainly depend on the specific situation and subject matter, but I've seen a fair amount of bus. letters to a group like this omit the salutation entirely.
posted by braintoast at 3:43 PM on November 13, 2006


If you have a primary recipient and secondary recipients, use "Dear Mr. Boss et al,"...
posted by daviss at 3:43 PM on November 13, 2006


In email, I say "Hello all," but I think this might be too informal for a letter. I rarely send letters to groups who aren't all Somethings (like, everybody is a member of a committee, so I can say, "Dear Committee Members").

Just don't use "Dear Sirs," or, "Gentlemen," if there's even the slightest possibility that any of the people to whom you're writing are female. I don't know any women who aren't annoyed by that.
posted by joannemerriam at 3:57 PM on November 13, 2006


I just got an email like this and it used "hello everyone." It seemed natural enough that I had to go back and see what it was in order to write this.
posted by dogwalker at 4:51 PM on November 13, 2006


" Dear all " or just " All, "
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2006


If you have a relationship with each and every addressee, perhaps you should greet them individually. This is what the mail-merge feature is for.
posted by randomstriker at 7:07 PM on November 13, 2006


I use "Hi all,"

"Dear" in business correspondence is OUT.
posted by bukvich at 8:17 PM on November 13, 2006


I use "Ladies and Gentlemen."
posted by ottereroticist at 11:33 PM on November 13, 2006


I frequently have to e-mail a committee of medics (UK) and use Dear Colleagues.
Dear has not yet passed out of use here.
posted by Wilder at 2:35 AM on November 14, 2006


Gentle Persons
posted by Goofyy at 8:12 AM on November 14, 2006


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