Using proper email etiquette rules not only leaves a good impression but is a testament to professionalism in the business world. And this starts with addressing people in a formal and respectful way so that each individual feels recognized and valued. Practice, however, shows that people often get confused when they have to address more than one person in an email. This is why we have put together some tips on how to address multiple people in an email like a pro. Take a look!
How to Start an Email to Multiple Recipients
It's email, not science fiction, so the rules for addressing multiple or addressing two people in an email are practically the same. In the matter of addressing an email to multiple recipients, the main question is whether to use "To" and "CC" or "BCC"?
The difference between "CC" and "BCC" is that when you put someone in "CC," they will be able to see who else has received the email unless you “hide” someone by using “BCC.” Regardless of which one you use, to maintain formality and avoid making your email look like spam, you must use the recipients' first name and last name, separated by a comma.
Then, when you "BCC" someone, recipients will not be able to see who else was BCC'ed on the email. This can be useful when you want to keep certain people's names confidential if, for example, your boss or supervisor wants to stay in the loop but remain invisible to everyone else in the thread.
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 to Greet Multiple Recipients in an Email
This depends on whether you are addressing an email to multiple recipients from the same organization or from different organizations. In any case, generic email salutations like "Hi everyone" or "Hey everyone" sound informal and can be construed as unprofessional. A better way to start an email is by listing out each person's name and then using a general greeting.
When you’re wondering how to address an email to multiple people from the same organization, it is common to use "Dear colleagues" or "Dear team," followed by the individuals' last names, as in: "Dear Colleagues, I am writing to let you know that I am resigning from my position." But if they share the same email address, it is best to list each of the recipients' names.
If you are addressing an email to multiple recipients from different organizations, it is common to use "Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name," followed by the individuals' last names, as in: "Dear Mr. Smith, I am writing to inquire about your upcoming speaking engagement." However, sometimes it's just impossible to address every single person, which is why it's not a bad idea to go with "Dear colleagues" or better yet, Mr. Smith and team."
In some cases, you can also use less formal email greetings such as "Hi everyone," "Hello everyone," or even "Hey guys" when addressing a group of people, as long as you are certain that everyone in the group knows each other well enough to feel comfortable with this level of familiarity.
How to Address Multiple People in an Email: Dos and Don'ts
The subject line is one of the most important parts of an email as it gives recipients an idea of what the email is about. When you address multiple persons in an email, make sure that the subject line is clear and concise. For example, the subject line for a resignation email should be "Resignation – John Smith," but if you are organizing a meeting or other company event, a more appropriate subject line would be "Meeting Request – Monday at 10 am" or "Invitation to the company picnic."
Keep the body of the email short and to the point. This will ensure that everyone can read the email without getting overwhelmed. If you have a lot of information to share, it might be a good idea to break it up into separate emails.
The right tone is also part of figuring out how to address multiple people in an email. Try to avoid being too informal or using sarcasm — while one person might get what you’re trying to say, it might not be so for everyone.
Learn more: Email etiquette rules
Your email should also have proper formatting. This means using a professional font like Arial or Times New Roman while keeping your paragraphs as short as possible.
It is also vital to proofread the email and ensure it is free of grammar and spelling errors. Nothing says unprofessional like an email that is riddled with mistakes.
And finally, use suitable email sign-offs. This is especially important if you are addressing people from different organizations. "Sincerely" or "Best regards" are always safe choices. And of course, don't forget to include your credentials and proper email signature size in case someone wants to follow up with you.
Here is an example of how to address multiple people in an email:
To: Mr. John Smith, Ms. Jane Doe, Mr. Tim Jones
BCC: Ms. Andrea Lee
Subject: Meeting Request – Monday at 10 am
Hello Mr. Smith, Ms. Doe, and Mr. Jones,
I hope this email finds you all well. I am writing to see if any of you are available on Monday at 10 am for a meeting. Please let me know as soon as possible.
And in case you are wondering how to address a group of people in an email, here is another:
Subject: Meeting Request – Monday at 10 am
I am writing to see if anyone is available to meet on Monday at 10 am. I would like to discuss the progress of the project we are working on. Please let me know if that time works for you or if there are any conflicts.
Knowing simple things like how to address multiple people in an email or what is the most suitable subject line to a follow-up email are important skills to have in today's workplace. In fact, they may even make the difference between getting a response and having your email ignored. By following the tips above, you can be sure that your email will be well-received no matter who you are addressing it to.