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Your professional salutations on emails and other correspondance

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Jeffsus, May 1, 2009.

  1. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    Dear reader,

    I have a couple problems about this, and there are lots of "protocol" website available, but I find them antiquaited.

    I prefer to send emails on a one-on-one basis in which case, I will start them as:

    "Good morning/afternoon/evening Jason, ....."

    I will generally use my local timezone for the morning/afternoon/evening part, since I have no idea when the reader might read it. The opening salutation is kind of a no-brainer in this case.

    The problem is when the email is to multiple people, or has CCs. My particular corporate culture encourages multiple readers which is what causes me grief.

    My "bosses" like to use "Good ... Gentlemen," or more simply, "Gentlemen,", but this has the obvious assumption that all the readers are male. My "bosses" of course have that assumption, and they assume they are being polite and cordial, but as a Canadian, I recognize that some, sometimes many, of the readers or recipients are female. And in any case, as a male reader myself, I find it somewhat questionable to get an email headed with "Gentlemen". What is a decent substitute for "Gentlemen", when you want to be polite and cordial while also being gender neutral? On occasion I've used "All" or "everyone" but it seems somehow cold and impersonal. In a way, I think this opening salutation is more important than the closing.

    For closing, it is my personal preference to use "Kind regards,", though I think some readers may take this too personally. I'd also like to use "Sincerely," but, for me at least, that has the connotation of formality and, perhaps, indifference. In a way also, I feel it is reserved for hand written letters to respected but not personally acquianted individuals -- ie not suited for email. Plain "Regards," is an alternative in those cases I suppose, but cold or even confrontational. "Take care" seems to resolve those problems but is more suited for warm business contacts, with whom there is some pre-existing personal encounter.

    How to balance the inclination of "personal and business respect" with the "I'm not overstepping our relationship" salutation in these cases?

    Kind regards,

  2. erika

    erika TRIBE Member

    I will use
    Hi x
    Hello x
    Hello everyone
    OR just name(s), as in "x and y"

    CC is not so much an issue; when you are cc'ing people, they are not the addresses and should not have to be considered in your salutations

    The closing depends on what the contents are; if I'm expecting people to do something or get back to me, I will use Thanks.
    If I'm just letting them know about stuff I don't use one.
  3. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    Oh I could never use "HI"

    I'd be whipped immediately for that.

    "Hello" is ok, in individual cases, but again, seems awkward or cold, distant.

    And generally the people in the CC: are more important than the person in the TO: -- like quiet, background, jedi overlords.

    In some (many?) cases, the email really IS to the CC: people but it has to be styled out as otherwise. When I was a co-op, this was not the case.

  4. screamy

    screamy TRIBE Member

    My new job means I have to regularly communicate to a group of about 40 via email, and they're scattered literally all over the globe, so I hear you on the "good morning/afternoon" thing. Time zone spread can be a PITA.

    I have had difficulty with this addressing sort of thing too - and not all of the recipients' first language is English, which can alternately lead to hysterically funny or very seriously bad misinterpretations of content, tone and style. It can be a minefield.

    Have you considered "Dear Team," for the larger recipient list emails, or "Ladies and gentlemen"? I know it's trite, but hey...it works, even if it sounds stuffy.

    And you must work somewhere very formal indeed to not be allowed to say "Hi so-and-so"! :p
  5. zoo

    zoo TRIBE Member

    I use "Hello John, and Hi Bob" often when dealing with people that I have developed a rapport with, or have met face to face. Generally "Everyone" works if it is a very large or mixed group, and "Gentlemen" generally works because most people in my industry are indeed men. I almost never use "Ladies and Gentlemen" because I find it condescending. Sometimes "Hello Team" works, if it's to a specific team.

    Sometimes when I want to avoid addressing the group, I'll just use "Good Morning," and leave it at that. It is brutal to not address the target, but sometimes it's easier (say if there are internal and external stakeholders in the audience). Yes, not addressing the audience makes it sound a bit cold, even canned.

    For endings, I use "Regards" for communications that are more serious, generic, tedious, or when I know that the e-mail will be used as an "official reference" in the future. I don't have a problem using it.

    Our sales guys use "Best Regards," "Kindest Regards," and "Warmest Regards" a little too often, but that, I suppose, is their job. I don't just throw those around to anyone! Hehe. Sincerely is completely out, it's for letters, not for day-to-day business.

    My most often used closing statements are probably "Regards," "Thanks," and "Let me know," simply because many of my e-mails are requests of others.

    Truly yours,

    Peter Mansbridge.
  6. screamy

    screamy TRIBE Member

    Yeah...I'm not a huge fan myself, just haven't found anything better. Luckily for me the folks we deal with in Asia are fairly formal.

    Of course, if you give it that boxing ring announcer's voice in your head, it's different. LOL.
  7. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    What about 'Salutations" as a start? Granted, most of my e-mails start with 'Hello everyone' or something relatively casual. It all depends on what kind of relationship you have developed with the recipients.
  8. smack

    smack TRIBE Member

    Fuck "regards" and "best regards" or any variation of it. I don't know why but I hate it and that word means nothing to me
  9. Bass-Invader

    Bass-Invader TRIBE Member

    < content of letter.>

  10. daddyiwantchocolate

    daddyiwantchocolate TRIBE Member

    I often start e-mails to the all-male executive team along the lines of "Ladies, your prompt attention in this matter is greatly appreciated", but only when the bitches won't respond by deadlines.

    I don't think this will work for you at all.
  11. skin deep

    skin deep TRIBE Member

    Dear all?
  12. Mephisto

    Mephisto TRIBE Member

    i'm a "best regards" kind of guy and have noticed some even shortening that to "best,".

    a new one i've gotten recently is "in solidarity," which was context appropriate but a bit much, really.
  13. derek

    derek TRIBE Member


    some major boring shit.


    work #
  14. Rajio

    Rajio Well-Known TRIBEr


    <blah blah blah>

    Smell ya later!!!
  15. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member


    Body of message.



    p.s. - in a not so formal sense, i would you something like ' Cheers ' at the end, or if im not pleased, well they dont get a word then.
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  16. Hawk Eye

    Hawk Eye TRIBE Member

    That's mine too. I never understand why ppl put their email address in their signature.. obviously the person whom you've e-mailed already has your email.

    I always use Hi, or Hello, if i don't know the person(s) whom I'm speaking with. If I do know everyone in the e-mail, then i'll say 'Hi Everyone,' or 'Hi x' If i have a really good rapport (which i do with everyone in my dept), then i'll say 'Hey'
  17. SonorouS

    SonorouS TRIBE Member

    sup bitches?
  18. workdowntown

    workdowntown TRIBE Member

    To whom it may concern
    Esteemed [members/clients/friends/shareholders etc]
  19. Muad'ib

    Muad'ib Well-Known TRIBEr

    Good Day,

    Blah Blah blah


  20. bkxb

    bkxb TRIBE Member

    Hi X,

    I need this shit by tomorrow.


  21. defazman

    defazman TRIBE Member

    Recipients Name

    Body of email/Corporate Talk

    Regards, (if I'm telling someone to do something)
    Thanks, (if they've done it)

    Senders Name,
    Senders Title & Contact
  22. T

    T TRIBE Member


    link me those things

  23. The Kid

    The Kid TRIBE Member

  24. diablo

    diablo TRIBE Member



  25. derek

    derek TRIBE Member

    top of the morning to your too!

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