how to greet someone you dont know in email

How to address an email to someone you dont know and someone you doHow you address an email sets out the tone of the email, which is very important regardless of the message you ar

how to greet someone you dont know in email

How to address an email to someone you dont know and someone you do

How you address an email sets out the tone of the email, which is very important regardless of the message you are getting across.

How you address an email depends on the context of the email, if you are writing a cover letter, job application, insurance claim etc. its likely youll be writing formally because its business correspondence. However if youre writing an invitation or letter of condolence the correspondence are much more personal so the email should be informal.

Greetings

Formal greetings

-A polite and respectful way to open an email to someone you dont know is Dear [first name] [last name], or Dear Mrs/Mr/Miss [first name]. Although the first is a safer bet because nowadays you cant always tell the gender from someones name.

-If youre not sure the recipient is married or unmarried you can use Ms as it covers both Mrs and Miss.

-If you want to be formal and dont know the name of the recipient, you can address the email as Dear Sir/Madam. (Bear in mind that this is a fairly old-fashioned greeting and some say it sounds like bad news or a complaint is to follow.)

-Mirror their responses. If theyre addressing you as Madam/Sir, then its best to repeat that back to them until they address you by your name, in which case you can follow suit.

-To Whom It May Concern is applicable if youre emailing a generic email i.e. [email protected] where you truly dont know where the email is going to in the organisation. This is a fairly cold greeting so if you can find a contact to address the email to, its always better.

Donts

-Dont call someone maam, its fairly impersonal and can actually be deemed offensive, research shows that women thought being called maam made them seem old and disrespected.

Informal greetings

-If you want to be chatty but still formal you can address an email Hi Mr/Mrs/Ms [last name] or if you want to be very informal use Hi [first name]. Its a safe and familiar way to address someone whether you know them or not.
If you are emailing a friend or a family member you can address how ever you seem appropriate (Hey/Hiya/Hello), although these greetings are not professional in the workplace.

-Its best to steer away from Good morning/afternoon/evening as by the time the recipient reads the email, it may be past that time of day.

-If you know the person very well, you can open the email up with just the persons name but its fairly informal and if you dont know them well it can appear abrupt and like youre about to tell them off.

-If someone has signed off their email using a nickname twice in their correspondence with you, it acceptable to mimic this and address them by their nickname. Although if youre unsure stick to their full name.

Singing off an email

-Common formal sign offs include: Best regards, Best wishes, Sincerely and Yours truly.

-If you have addressed the email Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom This May Concern then end your email with yours faithfully, followed by your full name.

-If you have begun an email Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss then sign off with yours sincerely. If you know them well and the greeting is to be polite, you can end on something slightly more informal such as with best wishes.

Information sourced from here, here and here  click for more information.

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