Salutation Examples for Letters
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 19 September 2022 | Published 21 July 2021
Updated 19 September 2022
Published 21 July 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Writing a letter boasts its own set of rules. You can use different greetings according to the formality of your letter. By comprehending the types of greetings or salutations, you can ensure that you convey your message using an appropriate tone, which is especially important in formal business correspondence. In this article, we'll outline salutation examples that you can use in different situations.
What is a salutation?
A salutation is a greeting used to begin a professional correspondence, such as a business letter or email. It's the first sentence your reader reads when they open your letter, and it states who you are writing to. Salutations are not the same as closing statements, which are placed at the end of the letter. Salutations set the tone of your correspondence and determine how your recipient needs to respond. Because the salutation is the first thing a recruiter, business partner or other business contacts see, it's critical that the greeting establishes a tone that the recipient interprets as appropriate.
For instance, if you start your letter with a formal greeting, the reader can interpret that the content is serious and the person may respond formally back. A serious message delivered with an easy-going salutation may elicit a casual response. Proper salutations in corporate letters and emails also showcase your understanding of business etiquette and rules.
Read more: How to Write a Job Application Email
Salutation examples for letters and emails
Ultimately, salutation appropriateness depends on how well you know the recipient, the mode of communication used and the type of letter you intend to send. Listed below are salutation examples that you can reference and use for different scenarios:
Mr., Ms. and Mrs. followed by the person's last name are the most formal salutations. It's suitable and acceptable in almost any situation. You can use that salutation if you're not sure which one to use. It's important to note that when addressing women, unless you are certain that she prefers Miss or Mrs., it's safer to use Ms. This type of salutation is appropriate for a written or printed letter or simply an email to a stranger. That said, here are some formal greetings:
Example: Mr. Lim
When addressing someone with whom you have a good relationship, such as family members, colleagues with whom you get along or close friends, you can use casual salutations. When using those salutations, make sure to pick one that is most appropriate for your message. The following are some informal salutations to use when starting a casual letter:
What's up, everybody?
Hello to all
Hi to all
Exciting email ahead
Salutations for business letters
A business letter can begin with the salutation Dear, followed by the recipient's last or first name and a colon, depending on the existing norms. If you don't know the person well or if this is your first contact, use the last name. You can, however, use their first name if you have a good or close relationship with them. Dear, title, followed by the last name is the most formal salutation. Examples include:
Dear Mr. [Last name]:
Dear Ms. [Last name]:
Dear Mrs. [Last name]:
Dear [First Name]:
Dear Dr. [Last name]:
Dear Judge [last name]:
To [First Name]:
Example: Dear Ms. Cheng: or Dear Kumar:
Salutations for unknown recipients in business letters
If you are not aware of the recipient's name or gender, or if you're writing to an institution, use "To whom it may concern" or the job title. If you only know the gender and not the name, use Sir or Madam followed by a comma. Alternatively, enter the full name if you are only sure about the name and not the gender.
To Whom It May Concern,
Dear [job title],
Dear [full name],
Salutations for social business letter
Social business letters combine social or personal intent, such as personal congratulatory messages for births, anniversaries, weddings, promotions, letters of condolence or appreciation notes, to address a business relationship. You can use Dear, [recipient's name], a title (optional) and a comma in a social business letter. Here are some examples for reference:
Dear [first name],
Dear Dr. [last name],
Example: Dear Fatima,
Salutations for emails
You can use the same greetings as in business letters for business emails. Instances of business emails include the first response to a client request or a sales email. If the email is less formal, instead of a colon, use an informal salutation followed by the first name and a comma: Hello there, [first name],.
Email etiquette asserts that you can use a salutation for your first message and skip the greeting for subsequent messages.
Thank you for your help with the Abox deal. I greatly appreciate it.
If you choose to omit the salutation, include the recipient's name in the first sentence of your message.
It is correct, Intan. Thank you for reminding me.
Listed below are sample salutations for emails and group emails:
Salutations for cover letter
When you draft a cover letter, use Dear [name] and a comma to address the hiring manager. If the name is not listed on the job listing, you can look it up on the company's website or call the company and ask for the name. Alternatively, if you can't find the name of the contact person, you can use the general salutations or even mention the team that the person is in. Some examples are listed below:
Dear HR Team,
To The Marketing Team,
Dear Hiring Manager,
To The HR Team,
Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter
Salutations for a woman and a man
When writing to two people of different sex, address the person with the highest corporate rank first or list them alphabetically if they hold the same corporate rank.
Example: Dear Ms. Chung and Mr. Lim,
When addressing a married couple, you can use the last name once if one of the married couple's names has changed.
Example: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tan,
Salutations for several recipients
When you know the names of your recipients, you can include their names in your letter. List them after Dear and title, separated by commas.
Example: Dear Mrs. Khoo, Dr. Chong and Mr. Tang:
Frequently asked questions about salutations
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions you might have about salutations:
What is a closing salutation?
Also known as the closing phrase, a closing salutation is a phrase used to end a letter or an email. For instance, you can write "Thank you" or "Thank you in advance," at the end of an email to end it in a polite manner. Closing salutations are usually short phrases.
What is a standard salutation for a business letter?
The safest and most universal salutation for a business letter is Dear. You can use this whenever you are unsure. Otherwise, you can use "To Whom It May Concern."
Do emails require salutations?
Unless you have established a strong relationship with the recipient, emails require salutations. You may address the recipient directly if you know them well. If you are writing a personal letter, you can use salutations, such as "Dear Andy."
What are some tips for business correspondence?
To ensure professional business correspondence, you can follow these guidelines:
Maintain a formal demeanour. When writing in the context of business correspondence, it's best to begin with a formal salutation.
Use the name if possible. You can usually follow the salutation with the recipient's name. If you don't know their name or are unsure, do some research on the company's website or social media accounts.
Double-check the spelling of your recipient's name. Check the spelling of the receiver's name on the company website, job board or social media pages.
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