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.

  • 7
    I begin informal emails to multiple recipients with "Comrades". Maybe it's a Cold War nostalgia thing :-) Oct 6, 2010 at 9:29
  • Haha.. I love using those for informal emails. this is in a professional context though. I'm gonna wait for a few more votes. The answers vary from one end to another.
    – Jonn
    Oct 6, 2010 at 11:04
  • 6
    How about "Hi y'all!" or "Howdy folks!"? ;) Dec 15, 2010 at 10:28
  • I use Sirs/Mesdames sometimes :) May 3, 2011 at 0:58
  • 4
    Gentlemen is more appropriate than "Sirs".
    – 에이바
    Feb 21, 2013 at 16:32

12 Answers 12


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:

Dear John,
Dear Jack,

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:

Dear John,
Dear Jane,

If I need to make it more formal, I simply write:

Dear Mr. Smith,
Dear Ms. Black,

And I can easily extend it to three or even four people:

Dear Mr. Smith,
Dear Ms. Black,
Dear Mr. Blunt,

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:

Dear Prof. Black,
Dear colleagues,


Dear Mr. President,
Dear Members of the Committee,


If I am addressing a few people who are well known to me, I would generally use:

Dear John, Bill, Jack,

If I am addressing a lot of people, or people who are not familiar to me, I would go with:

Dear All,

  • I tend to go with this. Or I will just put the most important people in the "To:" heading, the others in "CC:" and not address them at all. Jul 8, 2011 at 22:56
  • 3
    What rule do you base yourself on to capitalize 'All'? Mar 27, 2017 at 13:16
  • 2
    @VincentSels maybe it looks cool? xD Aug 23, 2018 at 1:22
  • Up Voting as I do the same. Nov 8, 2018 at 5:51
  • 1
    @VincentSels The mythical All has been present in all technical discussion lists from before Usenet started. It went downhill from there. Jan 31, 2019 at 18:06

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.

  • 13
    I don't care what got accepted, this is the right answer. Email is not a written letter. The (automatically generated) header is meant to take the place of most of that formal stuff you'd manually put at the top of a written letter. If I see a salutation on one, my spam filters go on high alert.
    – T.E.D.
    Apr 30, 2012 at 13:19
  • 2
    I can't agree with this more. Dear is becoming outdated and should really only be used in written letters. I would be taken a back and a bit put off if I received a legitimate e-mail with "Dear" as the salutation.
    – 에이바
    Feb 21, 2013 at 16:34
  • 8
    @T.E.D. But isn't using "Dear" a sign of courtesy? A throw back to times when letters were written on paper and posted by hand.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 1, 2013 at 23:05
  • 6
    @T.E.D. That's a bit harsh :(
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 2, 2013 at 4:38
  • 14
    I think it should be noted that in some circles (notably academic circles), "Dear" is still very much expected.
    – Nico Burns
    Feb 24, 2014 at 16:59

It's kind of a carryover from my medievalist hobby, but I really like using


or even


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.

  • This works very well if one or more of the recipient addresses does not belong to a single person
    – Agos
    Oct 8, 2014 at 13:46

If you are working together on a project, then I rather like

Dear team

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

Dear all,

or just


  • 1
    Since you are referring to a specific team, or a specific set of people (implied by the To and Cc lists), I would capitalize 'Dear Team' and 'Dear All'. May 3, 2011 at 1:53
  • 2
    @Jonathan I see no reason to capitalise team or all.
    – Hugo
    Sep 11, 2011 at 16:49
  • "Team" is always smarmy. Better to just say "People I don't actually respect or care about." or just say 'all'
    – uchuugaka
    Nov 5, 2014 at 2:35
  • I like 'Dear team' but would use 'Dear team members' myself.
    – NMI
    Oct 18, 2017 at 16:02

"Sirs" is just completely wrong. If you are addressing more than one man, it would be "Gentlemen".

  • 1
    -1 "Sirs" or "Dear Sirs" was the traditional polite form of address when writing to a company rather than to an individual named person. I don't see why it cannot continue to serve that purpose, even in e-mails, when writing to a company or organisation in general.
    – TrevorD
    Jan 14, 2020 at 23:26

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.

  • It strikes me as grossly informal (altho' that may vary between cultures & countries - I'm writing from the UK).
    – TrevorD
    Jan 14, 2020 at 23:28

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

Dear All,

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 possibly

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.


If it is a formal letter, then you can use 'Dear Sirs' but if it is informal, simply 'Hi' is fine. 'Hi' addresses either one person or many, the same as 'you' refers to one person or many. I would not ever use 'Gentlemen', but I am from Australia where our English is more informal.


I usually just use the words

Hi All,

  • 1
    Locate the comma after "HI," and use a lower-case letter for "all." It should be Hi, all ~
    – Ann
    Jul 19, 2017 at 13:45
  • @Ann, We don't do that when writing emails even though it's grammatically correct.
    – DxTx
    Nov 19, 2020 at 4:59
  • I don't know who "we" refers to, but "Hi All" is never correct on two counts. In the eyes of the people who know better, writing this must necessarily reflect negatively on you.
    – Ann
    Nov 20, 2020 at 7:19

You can also use gents to refer to many recipients.

  • 1
    I'm not so sure that this should be used in a formal e-mail, but +1 because it sounds classy.
    – 에이바
    Feb 21, 2013 at 16:36

I agree with louiser89 and I will add that - even though many people or perhaps most people don't think that "Dear" is appropriate on emails - I will continue to use "Dear" or, in my language, "Caro (Cara)". It is not only because we have always used it in letters and in commercial correspondence; it is not just traditions. "Dear" is a nice word, it is gentle and polite. It is not a word that could ever offend anybody. And it is certainly not formal, unless you consider formal the people you love or that you consider your friends, or the people you like. So why not use it also in emails? How can something nice become formal or old fashioned or, worse, strongly disliked? Of course we should never consider it obligatory, but why be against it? Dear Friends, don't be too angry with me: English is not my language, but it is a very "dear" language to me for many reasons.

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