How you begin your email or letter dictates how the rest of the conversation goes. Regardless of what’s included in the body of the email, the recipient will get a good feeling of what’s to come or even create their first impression of you. In some cases, the greeting can be the difference between the recipients reading the email or letter sending it to the deleted folder or the bin.
Of course, it’s scenario-dependent regarding email and letter greetings, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You perhaps wouldn’t be overly friendly or cheery when letting the team know somebody is leaving or you’ve let them go. Alternatively, you wouldn’t use an unenthusiastic greeting when announcing a well-deserved promotion.
However, there are cases where you need to address the entire team within one email rather than sending hundreds of different emails with a unique greeting for each one. The go-to tends to be “Hello Everyone,” but it’s time to review this greeting and opt for an alternative instead.
Why You Should Avoid Using “Hello Everyone” in an Email or Letter Greeting
Is it professional enough? Does it convey the right tone? Does ‘everybody’ work better than ‘everyone’? Questioning the greeting opens up a can of worms on whether it’s the correct phrase to use.
On the surface, it sounds like a perfect and harmless phrase to use when addressing a large group in one thread. However, there’s nothing personal or enthusiastic about it. It also lacks clarity on how the email is going, meaning the rest of the copy can take the recipients by surprise.
To avoid mixed messages or uncertainty, here are six alternatives to “hello everyone” you should use instead.
1. Good morning
2. Good afternoon
3. Good evening
These three greetings specify the time of day you’re sending the email. They’re reliable, inoffensive and harmless email or letter openings as they’re polite and generic. Regardless of whether it’s a professional message, semi-formal or something impersonal, you can’t go wrong with specifying the time of day you’re communicating with them.
4. Hi team
Another foolproof alternative to “hello everyone” in an email or letter is to begin the message with the phrase “hi team.” This is an excellent choice as it instantly lets the readers know it’s a message that impacts them all, not just a select few. What also works well for this phrase is conveying that sense of buy-in that you’re one close-knit team and you’re reminding them of it.
It works even better if you have people scattered across the globe and want to address them together. By using the phrase ‘team’, you aren’t isolating anyone and keeping everyone close by.
“Greetings” might sound too formal, but it can work best if some of the recipients include people on the board or higher up in the company. It’s also a good option when you want to address the entire team, but you’re trying to find the best person to reach out to. It’s a safe, conservative and polite beginning to an email or letter that’s perfectly acceptable to use.
“Regarding” is an effective alternative to “hello everyone” when you’re referencing something in particular. For example, it could be a meeting you’re referencing, a project or an event that occurred a few months ago. This is an excellent option to use as it instantly tells the recipients what your email or letter is about. If it impacts them, they’ll continue reading and the relevant people can get back to you as soon as possible.
These six alternatives are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to choosing the suitable alternative to “hello everyone” in your email or letter. It all depends on the situation and type of people you’re addressing.
If you want more generic alternatives — and depending on the situation and context — you could opt for:
- I hope you’re having a great week.
- I hope this email finds you well.
- Thanks for your time.
If you’re sending a follow-up email or letter, then your greeting will differ slightly as you can reference the subject you want more clarity on. Some examples include:
- I’m getting back to you about…
- Following up on my last email.
- To follow up on our meeting…
- I’m just checking in on…
- Can you give me an update on…
- As discussed on our phone call…
- As promised, I’m…
- It was great to meet you at…
- Here’s some more information on…
These types of phrases get right to the point and offer clarity to the recipients on what the email or letter is about. However, a lot more thinking should go into choosing the correct phrase as it needs to be appropriate to the situation and also the recipients.
First, determine who you’re communicating with. The greeting you use will be different for someone you’ve worked closely with for the past five years compared to a new starter you’re yet to meet face to face or over a Zoom meeting. Knowing who you’ll send an email or letter to will help you decide if it’s a formal, informal or neutral choice. Either way, it should always be professional.
Next, pinpoint where you are in the communication with recipients. Is it a follow-up email? Is it a cold outreach email? Is it a standard reply? Depending on the communication journey, you can decide whether you always need to add a formal greeting or whether you can quickly reference a previous message.
Understanding the best greeting to choose is a vital skill to know. It can be poor etiquette if you dive straight into the message without a greeting, so always know your audience before trying to deliver your message. By following our tips above, you’ll have a much better chance of leaving a positive impact with your letter or email while ensuring the right people understand the tone of your communication correctly.
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