Is "Dear All" Appropriate In A Work Email? (8 Better Alternatives) (2023)

“Dear all” is one of the most commonly used email starters among formal emails. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate way to write an email. There are plenty of alternatives out there that it’s better to use, but let’s find out why “dear all” is a no-go.

Is It Inappropriate To Write “Dear All” In A Work Email?

“Dear all” is formal and appropriate to use in a work email; however, it is considered lazy, and many people won’t read the email further. Using “all” instead of the group you’re referring to (i.e., dear colleagues) implies that the email could be for anyone and is therefore inappropriate.

Is "Dear All" Appropriate In A Work Email? (8 Better Alternatives) (1)

The Meaning Of “Dear All”

When we use “dear all,” it is seen as a formal greeting and is almost always written in emails (and no other mediums). That’s because emails allow us to send to multiple people at the same time, making the “all” portion of the phrase appropriate.

Dear all means “hello to everyone I’ve sent this email to.” “Dear” is a greeting usually reserved for a loved one or an important person, but the word has since been adapted to be more acceptable in formal situations. “All” means everyone in this context.

Whenever we write “dear all” in an email, we send it to multiple people. You should never send “dear all” if you’re only talking to one person. However, it’s best if you can avoid using “dear all” entirely because most people will not want to read the content.

“Dear all” is seen as lazy. You can easily replace “all” with another word like “colleagues” or “employees” without wasting any more time. This simple addition of a specific group of people makes it more personal and allows everyone to enjoy the email a lot better. It’s more rewarding for the readers to be appreciated as a group, rather than just put together in “all.”

When Is It Fine To Use “Dear All” In An Email?

There are some cases where “dear all” will work, though there are always better alternatives.

If you want to use “dear all” in an email, make sure you’re sending an email to a larger group of people. If you’re only sending it to one, two, or even three people, then you can simply refer to their names. “All” implies there are too many people to name individually.

Let’s look through some examples to show you what we mean by this.


  • Dear all,
  • I’m writing this email to let you know about the camping trip coming up…
  • See you soon,
  • Fred Peters

We can use “dear all” in this sense to group our whole family. Again, “dear all” isn’t very personal in this context, and you could easily replace it with “dear family” and get a much better response from it.


  • Dear all,
  • I’m not happy with the mess I found in the staff kitchen…
  • Action this immediately,
  • Mr. Chambers

We can also use “dear all” in the workplace (which is where it’s most common to find). Usually, formal speech without personal language is common in work emails. Still, in this case, “dear all” looks like an angrier greeting, especially when we read the content of the email.

To avoid this aggression, starting with something simpler like “dear employees” or “dear team” would have worked much better. The boss could still scold his team for the incident, but at least they wouldn’t have to worry about the connotations of “dear all.”

8 Better Ways To Write “Dear All” In A Formal Email

Okay, so we’ve determined that “dear all” isn’t the best option when we’re writing an email. While formal emails typically don’t need a personal touch, it helps to include them in the introduction and greeting to keep things polite.

If you can address your audience and identify them, you should always choose to do that. It shows that you took the time to write the email out entirely for them and appreciate their attention.

If you simply use “dear all” to group people together, you’re alienating them from the start, and they’ll see you as lazy.

Dear Colleagues

First, let’s look at one of the most common alternatives. We can still use “dear” in this case because we’re addressing people in a kind and formal way. Using a different greeting like “hi” or “hello” doesn’t work as well in a formal setting, so we’ll stick with “dear.”

If you’re working with people, they are known as colleagues. Whether you’re on the same level as them, or you’re their supervisor or even their boss, you can refer to them as colleagues to make sure they understand that you mean well and don’t want to be seen as someone above them.

(Video) 2Pac - Dear Mama

Dear colleagues,

It’s been brought to my attention that we haven’t had a fundraiser this year…


Dean Thomas

This is one example of the structure of an email when we use “dear colleagues” to start. Immediately, we are addressing our audience as people who we work with, rather than a lazy “all.”

Dear Team

If you want to keep things even more personal, you can refer to your colleagues or coworkers as a team. A team is when a group of people work well together to achieve a common goal.

It’s common for workplaces to call their workforces a team to keep synergy high and to try and boost morale. Of course, it may not always have the desired effect, but it’s a step in the right direction when you’re trying to keep things more personal and group together the people addressed.

Dear team,

I’ve filled in your overtime for this month, and it’ll be paid later…

Thank you,

Chris Rutherford

See how in this example, we’re using “team” as opposed to “colleagues.” However, both are synonymous with each other; it mostly depends on the name you give to your coworkers in the workplace.

Dear Students

Let’s move across to a school or educational setting for a moment to see how a formal email might be addressed here. First, we’ll take a look at it from the point of view of the teachers or the administration team.

Generally, you’ll address the students in a group email when you want to share important news about either the school or about upcoming things that will affect the students. Saying “students” instead of “all” is a great way to keep them all included.

Dear students

The annual summer fair is coming up, and we’re looking for volunteers…

We look forward to hearing from you,


School Administration Team

In this example, we’re addressing a group of students. It works especially well when we’re asking for volunteers like we are in this email because indicating the specific group of recipients allows them to be kept a little sweeter before outright rejecting the email.

Dear Faculty

Faculty is a term we use to refer to a group of teachers in a school. It’s a great way to send out a bulk email to the teachers specifically, rather than using the more general “dear all” greeting that we would otherwise have to use.

Dear faculty

Term starts again in three weeks, and we’d like for you to…

Looking forward to seeing what you can do,

Headmaster Davis

As you can see, this is still a formal email; we’re just using “faculty” in place of the typical “all” that you might expect out of an email like this. It works much better this way and keeps all the teachers engaged (hopefully) while they’re reading through the email.

Dear Staff

The term “staff” applies to a broad range of people. Staff is the word you’d use to describe a group of people that work in a specific establishment. However, “staff” is still seen as a fairly general word.

Typically, it still works better than “all” when you’re sending an email, but you might want to be careful using something like this. Sometimes, it’s better to be more specific, even if you change “staff” to “team” to make it seem slightly more personal.

Dear staff,

I’d love to hear your input on the new plans to open up the west wing…

Yours truthfully,

Sarah Wilcox

As you can see, “dear staff” still works nicely as a saying, but it’s not the best option on here. It’s still specific enough to work well in most places of work, but hopefully, you’ve got a slightly more specific group name for the people that work with you.

As a side note, “staff” usually applies to an email when it’s the boss writing it. You can’t call colleagues and coworkers on the same level as you are “staff.”

Dear Parents

Now let’s go back to a school situation. This time, we don’t want to message or email the students at the school. Instead, we want to address the parents. Luckily, a name has already been given to this group and works perfectly to address them all.

(Video) Dear David Is Fake...

Rather than worrying about using “all,” which will end up having most of the parents ignore the email (or getting it sent straight to spam), you can instead say “dear parents” to get their attention right away.

Dear parents,

Your children have just finished their first week of kindergarten

We can’t wait to share more news,

Little Munchkins School Board

As you can see, the “parents” inclusion in the email is a great way to differentiate the group.

Dear Club Members

If you’re a member or manager at a club, it might be a case for you to send an email out in bulk to the other members. That’s why it’s important to come up with a good alternative to “all.”

Like everything else we’ve listed so far, it helps that “club members” is already a name that you can refer to them as. Of course, if you can be more specific by including your club name, that would be even better.

Dear Meridian Golf Club Members,

We’ve got a new employee starting in the café

Let us know what you think,

Meridian Golf Club

As you can see, we named the club so we could be even more specific to the recipients of the email. The more specific you can get, the better. Sometimes, you might wish that you could just individually name each person (though we wouldn’t recommend that).

Dear Important Employees

Finally, if you’re struggling to come up with a good idea for your task force or workforce, you can always throw an adjective in front of “team,” “staff,” or “employees.” That way, you can encourage them to be thankful for the email and make them feel important.

Dear important employees,

I have some very important news to share with you…

I patiently await your responses,

(Video) Real or Fake? Dear David & More

Tom Peters

Avoid Starting A Professional Email With These Greetings

While “dear all” is a pretty bad greeting message to throw in at the start of your email, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one there is. In fact, there are a few others that we wanted to include so you can make sure you avoid using these in the future.

  • Hi all!

Not only are you still grouping everyone up in an impersonal way, but you’re also using “hi” as an informal greeting to try and break the ice. The message falls flat and doesn’t work this way.

  • Hello

Using the greeting “hello” in an email without anything else is considered just as bad as writing “dear all.” It’s bad in two ways. If you send it to a group, you’re not addressing the group in any way. If you’re sending it to one person, you’re not even bothering to write their name. Either way, it shows laziness.

  • Greetings, everyone

While “greetings” is seen as a more fun variation of “dear,” it doesn’t work well here because we’re still using “everyone” to group the people together without a specific identifier. If anything, “greetings” looks pretentious now and isn’t good to use.

  • To whom it may concern

Starting an email with something like this makes it as impersonal as it can be. We’re not taking any time to figure out who the recipient will be and therefore making everyone feel unwanted when they read it.

You may also like:

10 Better Ways To Say “Dear” In Emails

10 Best Ways To Address Multiple People In An Email

Is "Dear All" Appropriate In A Work Email? (8 Better Alternatives) (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 Best Ways to Address Multiple People in an Email
  2. 6 Steps To Politely Remind Someone To Reply To Your Email
  3. 10 Alternatives To “Hello Everyone” In Professional Emails
  4. Through, By, Per, or Via Email? (Helpful Examples)


Is it correct to say dear all in email? ›

"Dear All" is fine. There's nothing wrong with it. It is informal - you are addressing people as members of a group of which you are one.

What can I write instead of dear all? ›

What Can You Use Instead of “Dear All”?
  • Good Morning, All,
  • Hello, All,
  • Good Evening, All,
  • Greetings, All,
Jan 14, 2022

Is Dear used in professional emails? ›

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.

What can I use instead of dear in professional email? ›

Here are a few good alternatives:
  • "Hello, [Insert team name]"
  • "Hello, [Insert company name]"
  • "Dear, Hiring Manager"
  • "Dear, [First name]"
  • "To Whom it May Concern"
  • "Hello"
  • "Hi there"
  • "I hope this email finds you well"
May 7, 2019

Is Dear all professional? ›

Yes, using "Dear All" is appropriate. It's one of the standard salutations for correspondence taught in secretarial courses for a long time.

Can we use Dear professionally? ›

Dear [Name],

This greeting is a more formal way to start a professional email. "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.

How do you address all staff in an email? ›

Email greetings to groups
  1. If it's a group of people you know really well, you can use something more informal such as “Hi all,” “Hi team” or “Hi everyone.”
  2. If it's a more formal email, you can use greetings such as “Dear Coworkers,” “Dear Colleagues” or “Dear Hiring Committee.”
Feb 13, 2022

How do I address multiple recipients in an email? ›

Whenever addressing one, two, or three people, state each person's name in the salutation, e.g.:
  1. Dear, Tom, Mia, and Jim.
  2. Good afternoon Jose and Camila.

Can I start an email with all? ›

It's best to leave off any salutation unless specifically addressing one person, or group, in an email that is CC'ed to others. If you're addressing everyone equally saying "hi all" or "all" seems as weird as if you'd started a newspaper article that way.

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."

What is a professional email address to use? ›

Professional Email Address Format

The most standard and recommended form of a professional email address is of course the firstname.lastname@domain.tld format. But there are some other ways you can get a professional email address, such as: firstnameinitial.lastname@domain.tld.

Do professional letters start with dear? ›

The salutation (or greeting) in a business letter is always formal. It often begins with “Dear {Person's name}.” Once again, be sure to include the person's title if you know it (such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr).

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.

Where do we use Dear all? ›

Using “Dear All” is for particular instances when you want to indicate a heartfelt discussion. You would use this at the introduction or greeting, of the email to address a group of people, usually more than three.

What is more professional than sincerely? ›

Regards or Warm regards. Respectfully. Looking forward to hearing from you. Speak to you soon.

What is a professional salutation? ›

The most formal salutation is Dear, [title], then the last name. If you're unsure of the person's pronouns, it's a good idea to use Dear [First and last name] or Dear [First name]. When you don't know the recipient's name, you can use Hello or Greetings. Hello.

Can I use dear for a company? ›

The most common salutation used in both formal and informal business letters is "Dear." In formal scenarios, the salutation should always be to the point, curt and professional. Typically, formal greetings include "Dear," the title of the recipient and the recipient's last name.

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.

How do you address a letter to all staff? ›

When addressing a group of employees, you might use "Dear Staff" or "Dear Team." Always address your employees in a respectful manner.

How do you address a letter to multiple recipients? ›

If you're writing to multiple recipients at the same address, you may list each of their full names and job titles separated by a comma. If each recipient belongs to a different group, department or place of employment, you may include a parenthesis that designates this information.

How do you start a professional email sample? ›

Some examples of suitable formal email opening lines include: I am writing to request some information from your company. I am contacting you to invite you to my event. I appreciate your interest in our company.

What is the general email greeting for multiple recipients? ›

Emails greetings to multiple people

If you're sending an email to multiple people, here are some email starters that you may want to consider: "Greetings" "Hello everyone" "Hi [first name 1], [first name 2] and [first name 3]"

How do you address a formal email? ›

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.

How do you politely end an email? ›

Nine email sign-offs that never fail
  1. 1 Regards. Yes, it's a bit stodgy, but it works in professional emails precisely because there's nothing unexpected or remarkable about it.
  2. 2 Sincerely. Are you writing a cover letter? ...
  3. 3 Best wishes. ...
  4. 4 Cheers. ...
  5. 5 Best. ...
  6. 6 As ever. ...
  7. 7 Thanks in advance. ...
  8. 8 Thank you.
Feb 6, 2023

How do you start an email without saying Hope all is well? ›

"I hope this email finds you well." "I hope you're having an A+ [week, month]." "I hope you're having a two-coffee (versus a four-coffee) day."

What is the best email address format? ›

The most standard and recommended form of a professional email address is firstname.lastname@domain.tld format. There are some other ways you can get a professional email address, such as firstnameinitial.lastname@domain.tld.

What is the most used email address? ›

What is the most widely used email service? According to Statista, Gmail is the most popular email client in today's world, with more than 1.5 billion active users globally. If you're going to focus on designing your emails for one email provider, Gmail is a good place to start.

What is a good generic email address? ›

Here are some ideas for essential generic email addresses:

hello@, howdy@, hi@ or info@ for general inquiries or customer service. billing@ for billing and payments. support@ for your helpdesk or customer service. admin@ for technical administrative purposes.

Is it rude to start an email with dear? ›

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.

What is the proper format for a professional letter? ›

The most common layout of a business letter is known as block format. Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs. Another widely utilized format is known as modified block format.

What are the four basic parts to a professional email? ›

The 4 Essential Parts of an Email
  • The subject line. Arguably the most important component of the email, the subject line is the deciding factor in whether your message is read or deleted. ...
  • The salutation. The start of the email sets the tone for the main body. ...
  • The bit in the middle. ...
  • The ending.
Feb 10, 2013

What is good email etiquette? ›

Follow a proper email format

Subject line: describe what the email is about in a few words. Email greeting: Mention the recipient's name and add a proper greeting. Body: Write the main message and one ask. Signature: Include your name, surname, company name, and sign-off.

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.”

How do you address a dear all in an email? ›

How do you start an email with a greeting?
  1. Hi [recipient's name], ...
  2. Hello [recipient's name], ...
  3. Dear [recipient's name], ...
  4. Good morning/afternoon/evening, ...
  5. Greetings, ...
  6. Hi there, ...
  7. To [recipient's name], ...
  8. To whom it may concern,
Aug 9, 2021

How do you address an email to all recipients? ›

When addressing a larger group, you can use a common salutation: Dear Team. In the case of an email reply, use a salutation in the first reply. After the first reply, it is no longer necessary to keep using a salutation.

How do you address an email to multiple recipients? ›

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 do you address all in an email? ›

Email greetings to groups
  1. If it's a group of people you know really well, you can use something more informal such as “Hi all,” “Hi team” or “Hi everyone.”
  2. If it's a more formal email, you can use greetings such as “Dear Coworkers,” “Dear Colleagues” or “Dear Hiring Committee.”
Feb 13, 2022

Do you say dear all or Dear all? ›

Dear all “ correct in Formal style. “Dear All” correct in informal style . Email is an example for informal letter and not Formal letter.

Is there a comma after Dear all? ›

There is a common misconception that commas should never be used after salutations. That's just not true. Commas can be used after informal salutations that include an adjective such as “Dear.” The trick is that you have to decide if your message is formal or informal.

What is the proper salutation for multiple recipients? ›

Write your salutation

When writing to one recipient or a group of people, you may simply write their full name and job title or the name of the group. If you're writing to multiple recipients at the same address, you may list each of their full names and job titles separated by a comma.

How do you address a professional letter to multiple recipients? ›

In a business letter, write the first person's name, then a comma, then their title at the company after the comma. On a new line, write the next person's name, title, and so on. Include all names, if possible. If you're sending the letter to one address, try to include all names.

How do you start a work email? ›

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.

Can I address two persons in an email? ›

To and CC fields: The To and CC fields are the most formal way of addressing two people in an email. Since you are sending a message to more than one recipient and require them to act on it, you should list their names in the "To" field, separated by commas. For example: To: John Smith, Jane Doe.

How do you address your boss in an email? ›

Use a professional salutation followed by your boss's name.

Professional salutations include “Hi,” “Hello,” and “Dear.” Follow that with the name that you normally use to address your boss. If you're on a first name basis with your boss, it's fine to use that. Otherwise, use something formal like “Doctor Bell” or “Mr.

What is a more professional email address? ›

Professional Email Address Format

The most standard and recommended form of a professional email address is of course the firstname.lastname@domain.tld format. But there are some other ways you can get a professional email address, such as: firstnameinitial.lastname@domain.tld. firstnameinitiallastname@domain.tld.


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