If the group you are writing a business email to is small enough — five or fewer — the very best salutation is to use recipients’ names. If all your recipients belong to the same group, use the group name (ie. Sales Team). If your recipients are in various positions or groups, use "Colleagues" or "Team." Avoid gendered greetings. Learn more about group salutations when writing business emails.
Small group salutations
If the group you are writing a business email to is small enough — five or fewer — the very best salutation is to use recipients’ names. This also indicates the message is relevant to all of them. Alphabetize the order thoughtfully unless one person ranks much higher.
Dear Anita, Carmen, James, Roland, and Sean:
Note: using Dear [title, last name] or [first name] followed by a colon is the preferred salutation for all business salutations in email for formal communication when communicating outside your company on first contact. If your subject is a more personal business issue, such as group congratulations, condolences, or thanks, use Dear [title, last name] or [first name] followed by a comma. If you know your recipients very well, you are all in the same company, the subject is light, and your company culture is informal, you can also use Hello or Hi [first name], followed by a comma. When in doubt about formality, opt for Dear [title, last name] or [first name] and a colon.
Group salutations to a team
If all your recipients belong to the same group, use the group name:
Dear Sales Team:
Dear Profile Committee:
Dear School Board:
Acknowledgment group salutations
Sometimes, endearing or encouraging group salutations for business emails work well, but use discretion with this approach:
Dear Marketing Mavens: (To a marketing group, in a message announcing a new contract, which compliments their ability and skills that earned the contract.)
Dear Road Warriors: (To a sales group that had been traveling non-stop for the past month, with a message announcing the sales results. This salutation works because it sincerely acknowledges their hard work.)
Dear Sales Dudes: (Be judicious using personalized group salutations. A sales rep shared this salutation with me recently, which his sales manager uses for all group messages to the sales team. He told me he “cringes” every time he sees this, which proves the importance of a good salutation. We really can lose a reader at hello. Also, the team added a female sales rep so it's exclusionary as well as cringy.)
Group salutations for positions
If your recipients are in various positions or groups:
Avoid Gendered Greetings
History and perception are linked to many gendered terms. Overtly gendered greetings also exclude non-binary recipients:
Ladies: (Avoid this gendered greeting even if all the recipients are women)
Gentlemen: (Avoid this gendered greeting even if all the recipients are men)
Ladies and Gentlemen: (Avoid this and choose an inclusive, non-gendered greeting.)
Guys, (Avoid this common colloquial greeting.)
Neutral, classic group salutations always work
“Greetings” as a group salutation is neutral, succinct, and not too casual, so always a good choice:
Summer Greetings: (Suitable for a seasonal group announcement message.)
For more informal business writing, these salutations are warm and engaging:
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Mary Cullen Originally published April 3, 2021, updated December 7, 2023
Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.