10 Better Ways To Say "Dear" In Emails (2023)

When writing emails, “dear” is commonly used to address the recipient. We almost always write it before someone’s name or title so that they know it is aimed at them. However, there are better alternatives we can address someone, and this article will explore them.

What Can I Say Instead Of “Dear” In Emails?

There are plenty of different ways we can address someone in an email besides “dear.” This article will introduce you to the following:

  • Hey
  • Hello
  • To
  • Good morning
  • Good afternoon
  • Good evening
  • Name
  • Hi guys
  • Hi all
  • Hi everyone
10 Better Ways To Say "Dear" In Emails (1)

The preferred version is “hey” or “hello,” depending on the tone. They both work to address a person as if you are greeting them. Even though you are sending them an email, the idea is that we greet them with the same words as if we saw them in person.


“Hey” is one of the best replacements for “dear.” We can use it with or without a name, which works well when we’re addressing someone directly or addressing a group. However, it’s slightly more informal than “dear,” so you can’t always use it.

Here are a few examples showing you how it might work:

  • Hey James,
  • It’s been a long time, and I’m glad you have finally contacted me.
  • Thank you,
  • Steven
  • Hey all,
  • It has been noted that your morale has declined as of late. What can I do to remedy this?
  • Thank you,
  • Mr. Smith


“Hello” is another great choice for a greeting. We can replace “dear” directly with it if a name comes after it. However, we do not always need “hello” to be accompanied by a name. It is more than enough of a greeting on its own in most cases.

Here are a few examples using both names and excluding them:

  • Hello Dean,
  • I have been around the building and have not noticed any issues, as you mentioned.
  • Kind regards,
  • Tom
  • Hello,
  • It has already been brought to my attention, but I appreciate the email.
  • Kind regards,
  • Peggy Mitchell


“To” is a simple greeting that we can use to replace “dear.” It’s not one of the more common choices, but it works well when we include the person’s name directly after it. It’s more common to use “to” in letters than in emails.

Here are a few examples:

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  • To Mr. Parker,
  • I have heard a lot about you from my colleagues,
  • I look forward to working with you,
  • Mrs. Jackson
  • To Dan,
  • I hope you are doing okay after your accident.
  • Let me know if there is anything I can do for you,
  • Mr. Blart

Good Morning

“Good morning” is a good choice if you’re sending your email in the “morning.” This applies to any time that falls before lunch and is early in the day. You can also use it to refer to one person or multiple people, depending on who your email is for.

If you are going to send “good morning” in an email, you’ll want to include the person’s name after it in most cases if it’s addressing them. This isn’t always necessary, but it’s good manners.

If you’re addressing a group, there is no reason to include any more words after “good morning.”

Here are some examples:

  • Good morning Harry,
  • I am happy to hear that you had a good time,
  • Kind regards,
  • Matthew
  • Good morning,
  • It has been a long time coming, but I’m glad you’re okay.
  • Thank you for telling me,
  • Adam Hinch

Good Afternoon

“Good afternoon” works when we are in the “afternoon.” If we send an email after lunch (and before evening hits at around 5 p.m.), we can use “good afternoon” as a formal greeting.

Similar to “good morning,” you should include someone’s name if you are emailing them directly. However, if you are emailing a group, you do not need a name after it.

This is how it might look:

  • Good afternoon,
  • I hope you are all doing well, and I look forward to working with you again shortly.
  • Kind regards,
  • Mrs. Greed
  • Good afternoon Paul,
  • Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will get to work on it ASAP.
  • Kind regards,
  • Matt Man

Good Evening

“Good evening” works when we are in the “evening” period of the day. This can vary depending on who uses it, but it mostly applies to any time after 5 or 6 p.m. If you are sending an email after this time, it is likely that “good evening” is a good introduction.

Just like the other time-based greetings, we should still include a name when using “good evening” if we’re only messaging one person. If we message a group, just “good evening” alone is fine.

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This is how it might come in handy:

  • Good evening Joseph,
  • I look forward to hearing from you about what you found when you went south.
  • See you soon,
  • Mary
  • Good evening,
  • I haven’t been around to congratulate you all yet, but I’ll make sure to be in the office tomorrow to see you.
  • Kind regards,
  • Matt Blanc


“Name” works when we are sending a formal email. It mostly works in a warning letter, where someone might have done something wrong, and we are warning them about their behavior. You should replace “name” with their own name to highlight who is being addressed.

Though uncommon, it is possible to remove the greeting altogether. An email that starts simply with somebody’s name is usually reserved for someone who we are telling off or who is in trouble.

You should not use this email opener if you do not mean to tell the recipient off. It comes across as rude and lazy.

Here are a few examples of how it might look:

  • Joseph,
  • I have gathered the evidence presented by your colleagues, and I think we need to have a little meeting about your conduct.
  • Kind regards,
  • Kim
  • Tara,
  • I will not hear anymore from you about this matter. Come to my office at once,
  • Kind regards,
  • Mr. Hamilton

Hi Guys

“Hi guys” works well when we want to address a larger group of people. If there isn’t one specific recipient, this phrase is a great one to use. You can also replace “hi” with “hey” or “hello” if you want to as well.

Typically, “hi guys” is more informal than some of the other options we’ve presented. “Guys” isn’t the best choice to use in emails if you are writing professionally.

Here are a couple of examples to show you how it might look:

  • Hi guys,
  • I hope you’re all having a lovely day, and I would like to discuss this matter further with you by email.
  • Kind regards,
  • John Wallbream
  • Hey guys,
  • I’m doing well, and I appreciate you checking in to find out more.
  • Thank you for caring,
  • Sam Walker

You may also like: 11 Better Ways To Say “Guys” To A Mixed Group Of People

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Hi All

“Hi all” is another way we can address a larger group. It works well in many cases to start an email. It’s also slightly less informal than using “guys,” which can be helpful when you’re writing a professional email intended for a large workforce.

These examples will show you how it works:

  • Hi all,
  • I would like to congratulate you all on the work you have done over the past few weeks.
  • Thank you for all your hard work,
  • Mr. Samson
  • Hi all,
  • I appreciate your efforts on the project and would like to reward you for them.
  • Kind regards,
  • Paul Watts

Hi Everyone

“Hi everyone” is another more formal choice we can use. It again refers to multiple people (or a large group of people). If we have many people in the email chain that are all receiving the same thing, then “everyone” might be worth using.

“Everyone” and “all” are interchangeable in an email format. It’s ultimately up to you which one you think works best for your emails.

Check out these examples to see it in action:

  • Hi everyone,
  • I haven’t been able to make it in to see you all yet, but I should be back to full health by the end of the week.
  • Thank you for your kind words,
  • Sarah Millican
  • Hi everyone,
  • You’re all doing really well, and I want you to take a few days off to celebrate your latest accomplishments.
  • Thank you,
  • Mrs. Higgins

Is It Weird To Say “Dear” In An Email?

We’ve looked at all the best alternatives for “dear,” but it’s time to circle back to it briefly. It might help you to know why we’re even looking at using alternatives in the first place.

“Dear” is not weird to say in an email. In fact, it’s one of the most common words we use to address people in formal letters. You can use “dear sir” or “dear ma’am” without question, and it will always deliver the correct message.

The only reason we think you might benefit from something else is that “dear” can be overused.

Since it’s one of the more common words, it is likely that some people are sick of reading it. Showing them that you can use other words is always a great way to add character to an email (even in formal situations).

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You may also like: Is “Dear All” Appropriate In A Work Email? (8 Better Alternatives)

10 Better Ways To Say "Dear" In Emails (2)

Martin Lassen

Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.

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Related posts:

  1. 10 Alternatives To “Hello Everyone” In Professional Emails
  2. “On The Evening”, “In The Evening”, or “At Evening”?
  3. Is “Dear All” Appropriate In A Work Email? (8 Better Alternatives)
  4. 10 Best Ways to Address Multiple People in an Email


What can I say instead of dear in email? ›

"Dear, [First name]" "To Whom it May Concern" "Hello" "Hi there"

What can I say instead of dear? ›

  • beloved.
  • cherished.
  • loved.
  • precious.
  • darling.
  • sweet.
  • favorite.
  • adored.

How do you reply to a dear email? ›

However, go by how they address you; if their emails to you start “Dear”, you reply with “Dear”; if they start “Hi”, you can reply with “Hi”. An alternative email greeting that lies somewhere between formal and informal is “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”.

How do you say dear professionally? ›

You can address the recipient by starting with "Dear" followed by a personal title, such as "Mr." or "Ms." If you have the full name of the recipient of your business letter, you can enhance the formal nature of the letter by starting with "Dear" followed by a personal salutation, such as "Dear Ms. Levatson."

How do you start an email politely? ›

If You Need Something Formal
  1. Allow Me to Introduce Myself.
  2. Good afternoon.
  3. Good morning.
  4. How are you?
  5. Hope this email finds you well.
  6. I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
  7. I hope you're doing well.
  8. I hope you're having a great week.

Should I use dear in an email reply? ›

When in doubt, “Dear” is always safe, and it should be the default greeting for any first correspondence. For Ramsey, the most important point is to use some form of salutation. Otherwise, e-mail is too cold and impersonal. “It's one of the ways you can warm up e-mail,” she says.

Is Dear outdated? ›

"Dear" is appropriate for an initial email, but it may sound stuffy and repetitive if you add it to every message in a long email chain. In subsequent emails, you can use "Hello" instead.

What is a fancy way to start a letter? ›

  • If you are writing a love letter, try using “To my Dearest” or “To my Love” to sound more romantic.
  • Feel free to jazz up your greeting if you are writing to a close friend. ...
  • If you want to be quirky, try something like “Greetings from *insert place*”.
Jun 22, 2020

Can I say dear without name? ›

The salutation of a formal email is similar to the salutation of a letter. When writing to someone you do not know by name, you put “To Whom it May Concern.” When applying for a job, you would address the person by, “Dear Hiring Manager.” If you do know the recipient's name, you put “Dear Mr./Ms.

What is the best reply to email? ›

How to reply to an email
  1. Read your recipient's email. ...
  2. Begin with an email greeting. ...
  3. Write your introduction. ...
  4. Acknowledge the last email. ...
  5. Answer any previous questions. ...
  6. Verify that the recipient understands. ...
  7. Select a sign-off. ...
  8. Proofread your email.
Jul 23, 2021

How do you write a nice reply email? ›

How to write a response email
  1. Respond quickly. ...
  2. Start with a greeting. ...
  3. Reply to questions or concerns in separate lines. ...
  4. Ask for confirmation of understanding. ...
  5. Include closing remarks and your signature.
Apr 13, 2021

What is the reply for Thanks dear? ›

3 Answers. "You're welcome.", "My pleasure.", "No problem." or "No worries."

Is Dear Too formal email? ›

Dear (name) - “Dear (name)” is appropriate for all formal emails, but has a slightly old-fashioned feel that makes it less suitable for informal messages. Greetings - This is a common and polite salutation for an email sent to a group – or a single recipient when you are not sure how to spell their name.

What is a good email opening? ›

Opening Sentence for Email Formal

I hope this email finds you well. Hope you're having a great week so far. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Hope you had a lovely vacation.

What are some formal greetings? ›

Formal Greetings
  • Hello!
  • Hi there.
  • Good morning.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Good evening.
  • It's nice to meet you.
  • It's a pleasure to meet you. As you may have assumed, these last two only work when you are meeting someone for the first time. We hope you enjoy putting these new English greetings to use!

How do you email professionally? ›

How to write a professional email
  1. The right greeting. Greetings in an email are important. ...
  2. Understand your intention. What's an email for? ...
  3. Explain your intention. ...
  4. Get to the point. ...
  5. Send your best regards. ...
  6. Sign off properly. ...
  7. Write an appropriate email signature. ...
  8. Proofread.
Dec 7, 2022

Is it professional to say dear? ›

1 Dear [Name]

This email greeting is an appropriate salutation for formal email correspondence. It's typically used in cover letters, official business letters, and other communication when you want to convey respect for the recipient.

Is dear a polite word? ›

As a written form of address — such as "Dear Mr. So-and-so" — dear is generally a polite but impersonal standard greeting. Dear can sometimes mean expensive, as in "The cost of food is so dear these days," though that's a rather dated usage nowadays.

Is Dear appropriate? ›

Dear or Best

With English letters, Dear is usually the appropriate salutation. This has to do with the fact that nowadays letters are only used in fairly formal situations, and a formal salutation is appropriate.

Is Dear Too Personal? ›

All of these greetings are appropriate, when you don't personally know who you'll be emailing. “Dear,” is much too informal, as to suggest a longtime, important relationship. “Hi,” suggests you've had contact via phone, email, or in person, and have discussed the matter, beforehand.

What is a professional greeting? ›

While those informal greetings are fine for casual emails to friends or even for more formal emails you might send to groups of people, in a professional letter you'll need to use a personal salutation with either a first and/or last name ("Dear Mr. Doe") or a job title ("Dear Hiring Manager").

How do you write a letter like a professional? ›

Writing a Professional Letter
  1. Before You Begin - Consider Format. Choose a professional and easy to read font like Times New Roman, Ariel, or Calibri. ...
  2. Identify Your Address. ...
  3. Add the Date. ...
  4. Identify Your Recipient. ...
  5. Greet Your Reader. ...
  6. Close the Letter. ...
  7. Proofread.

How do you address all in an email? ›

In practice, the best answer to the question of how to address an email to multiple people is by using the “CC” field. This will ensure that each person receives a copy of the email and sees everyone else who is included in the message.

How can I improve my reply to my email? ›

Be succinct: don't write ten sentences when two are needed. Reply to every email in three sentences or less. Respond with statements: don't reply “Maybe 10 or 11 am, what do you think?” to schedule a meeting time, be assertive “10 am.” Get Personal: sometimes it's easier to call or talk face-to-face.

How do you say nice reply? ›

You can say, "It's a pleasure to meet you as well" or "Same here". Hello. The most common way to reply is with "Nice to meet you too."
  1. It's nice to meet you too. Thank you !
  2. Nice to meet you too. Thank you !
  3. Great ! It's nice to meet you too !
  4. Brilliant ! It's nice to meet you too !
Jan 25, 2017

What is the best reply for good? ›

I'm alright.

Be honest (if you're comfortable), and then tell them how much you appreciate their kindness. “Could be better, but thanks for asking.” “That's nice of you to ask! I'm okay.”

How do you respond to a humbly compliment? ›

How to Accept a Compliment
  1. “Thank you, it makes my day to hear that.”
  2. “I really put a lot of thought into this, thank you for noticing.”
  3. “Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to express that.”
  4. “Thank you, I am happy to hear you feel that way!”
Oct 12, 2019

What is a good opening sentence? ›

Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”

What is a good opening greeting? ›

A: The best way to begin a professional email depends on the situation and the relationship between the sender and recipient. However, some good opening lines for professional emails include introducing oneself, thanking the recipient for their time, or asking a question to get the conversation started.

What are some good opening sentences? ›

First sentence examples
  • The only way to ___.
  • Would you rather have ___ or ___?
  • There are two types of people, ___, and ___.
  • The more you ___, the easier ___ gets.
  • Do you think you understand how to ___? Here is why you're wrong.
  • I always told myself that ___. ...
  • Five years ago, I ___.
  • ___ is the perfect way to ___.

Is dear a romantic term? ›


This is another old term of endearment, dating back to at least the early 14th Century. It comes from the Old English deore meaning precious, valuable, costly, loved, beloved. It's believed that this is a shortening of dear one, which has been used as a term of affection to begin letters since the 1500s.

What are some formal Greetings? ›

Formal Greetings
  • Hello!
  • Hi there.
  • Good morning.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Good evening.
  • It's nice to meet you.
  • It's a pleasure to meet you. As you may have assumed, these last two only work when you are meeting someone for the first time. We hope you enjoy putting these new English greetings to use!

Is saying dear rude? ›

Calling someone 'dear' is not offensive.

Is Dear intimate? ›

In addressing one another, English speakers have been using “dear” since the Middle Ages. And then, as now, the word could be used either intimately or formally.


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