How do you greet multiple recipients in an e-mail?
Assuming they're both male, I just use "Sirs", but it seems a bit informal.
If you don't know the recipients' names, I refer you to the other answers. However, if you do know their names, then I will add that I would actually just write:
I have been using this formula for more than a decade. So far, nobody has complained. For me, this approach has quite a few advantages. First of all, it is more personal than simply "Greetings" or "Hi all". Secondly, if one of those people is the main recipient and the other is CC, or if one of them has a higher rank (say, he is the boss of the other), I can reflect that in my address by mentioning him first. Lastly, this formula can be easily adapted to many situations. If some (or all) of the recipients are female I simply write:
If I need to make it more formal, I simply write:
And I can easily extend it to three or even four people:
Now, when I am addressing more than four people, I often do use something like "Greetings", "Hi everybody", "Dear clients", "Dear colleagues". However, even then I sometimes set the most important recipient apart by writing:
If I am addressing a few people who are well known to me, I would generally use:
If I am addressing a lot of people, or people who are not familiar to me, I would go with:
It's kind of a carryover from my medievalist hobby, but I really like using
for emails to a group of people. It's also really handy for addressing a single person when you're unsure of that person's gender and/or title.
I rarely begin emails with a salutation. If I do, it is usually just the name - I have never transferred the pointless 'Dear' to emails.
If I wanted to put one in a group email, I suppose I would start with a word like "friends", or "people", or "folks", depending on the context and formality.
If you are working together on a project, then I rather like
This can be appropriate even if the recipients include people from both your company and the client. It's a subtle reminder that you are all working towards a common goal.
More generally, I'd just use
"Sirs" is just completely wrong. If you are addressing more than one man, it would be "Gentlemen".
Email is still sufficiently young that formal conventions have not emerged. I find it useful to imagine myself in the mind of the recipient and ask what information I need to give them in the greeting.
If the email is really to be sent with equal priority to a number of recipients and they regard themselves as part of a group (fellow developers for example), then I would use
If, actually, the email is a mailshot to a number of individuals who don't know each other, then its an individual email.
Dear Sir (or Madam),
Here, I prefer to use the convention that Sir is neuter.
And lastly, if an email is really to a single individual, but with a few more individuals copied in (such as a question to an individual developer, but where I want the email trail to be visible to the group), then I would use
Dear Bob (Alice, Charlie, Dilbert)
The last one is not a convention I have seen elsewhere, but I find it works for me.
I have been using, "Hello to all". It seems to work well for both male and female recipients and is formal enough to use in a business setting.
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