Across multiple sectors, letter-writing is still common in professional settings. In the course of regular business, you might find that you need to write a formal letter to several recipients. Learning the correct way to create a letter addressing multiple people is imperative to developing a professional reputation. Read on to learn how to format a business letter to multiple people. We will provide step-by-step instructions, as well as helpful tips and samples on which you can model your professional correspondence.
Addressing multiple people in an email
When addressing one, two, or three people, include each person’s name in the salutation, for example:
- Dear, Bob, Kira, and James.
- Good afternoon Tyler and Jess
Why would you need to address a letter to more than one recipient?
If you use letters as a critical form of professional communication, you need to understand how to address such a letter to multiple recipients. When you address a letter to several people, you can relate identical information to all of them at once. Here are some reasons that professionals across many disciplines and sectors would need to address a letter to more than one recipient:
- Official correspondence between departments
- Communication to clients and partners
- Providing clients and customers with information on company changes
- Drafting offer letters
- Writing a letter of intent
- Making on official requesting for funding
- Providing notice of recognition
- Formally thanking a group
- Distributing memos to the office
- Providing final notice on a contract
- Issuing policy change Announcements
Addressing a letter to several recipients
Here are some helpful guidelines for addressing a letter to several people:
1. Choose a header format
When you begin to format your formal letter header, you should first determine if you need to issue the letter to several addresses or just one. If all of the letter’s recipients work for the same organization, your header only needs to include the organization’s address once. However, when addressing a letter to multiple recipients from multiple organizations, you must specify each organization’s address in the header. Let’s go through the different header formats for numerous recipients:
One address: For multiple individuals within a single organization, you should list each recipient’s name on its own. Below the listed names, append the organization’s address.
More than one address: For multiple individuals at different organizations, you might want to consider sending each recipient an individual copy of the letter with only their name and organization address in the head. In this circumstance, we also recommend that you provide a complete list of recipients in a “cc:” section. This addition will inform the reader of everyone who received the same letter.
Addressing large groups: If you find there are too many people to reasonably send each an individual copy of the letter – for example, a committee – you may choose to address a letter to the entire group.
The address header should appear on the letter’s top left corner. Moreover, you should confirm that each recipient has the correct designation and job title. Finally, be sure to place a comma between each recipient’s name.
Related: Here are some additional tips on better formatting headings.
2. Writing an appropriate salutation
Once you have confirmed that your header is appropriately formatted, you should draft an appropriate salutation. You need to be aware of your readers’ proper job titles and designations or job titles. These titles should always match the titles in your header. We recommend that you open your salutation with “Dear….” A formal greeting should end with a colon rather than a comma.
If you are addressing one person or a group, it is okay simply to include their name and their title or the group’s name. When saluting multiple people from a single organization, we suggest listing each recipient’s full name and job title and separating each with a comma. However, if your letter’s recipients come from different organizations, you need to include that information. To do so, you can append the organization in parentheses. Alternatively, you can have a “cc:” list in your salutation to provide the complete list of recipients and addresses.
Related: Read more about choosing the proper salutation and what it is.
3. Double-check accuracy
The accuracy of your address information is paramount. If there are errors, you risk addressing people inappropriately or not reaching them at all. Before you finalize your professional letter, you need to double-check each of the items below. The information must be accurate and the spelling correct:
- Each Recipient’s Job title
- Every Recipient’s Personal Designation
- The Organization Name or Names
- Each Organization Address
- The Department receiving the letter
Sample verbiage of multiple-recipient letters
Read on for sample formats and verbiage for professional letters. These samples include properly constructed headers and salutations for multiple recipients.
Header and Salutation Example #1
This is how you would format a header and salutation when addressing your letter to multiple people within the same organization:
Mr. Vince Kenton, Ms. Yelena Lemrov, Mrs. Anna Rogers
Department of Labor and Industry
Pennsylvania State Capitol
1700 Labor and Industry Blvd
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Dear Mr. Vince Kenton, Ms. Yelena Lemrov, and Mrs. Anna Rogers:
Header and Salutation Example #2
This is how you would format a header and salutation when you are addressing your letter to multiple individuals at different addresses:
Dr. William Wade
CC: Dr. Cathy Hendricks, Dr. Doug Portnoy
Cedars Sinai Medical Center
8700 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dear Dr. William Wade:
CC: Dr. Cathy Hendricks, Dr. Doug Portnoy:
Header and Salutation Example #3
This is how you would format a header and salutation when you are addressing your letter to a large group at a single address:
Members of Board
Board of Trustees
200 W Ward St
Springfield, OH 45504
Dear Members of the Board:
Additional concerns with writing a letter to multiple people
Below, please find some more tips that will help you craft a well-structured, professional letter to several recipients:
Be appropriately formal
You should always consider the appropriate level of formality of your professional correspondence. It isn’t necessary to be highly formal when you address colleagues with whom you have a pre-existing relationship. Conversely, when corresponding with new acquaintances, professional supervisors, or institutional partners, you should always keep your verbiage formal and respectful.
Greet each recipient individually
If you are addressing a large group in your professional letter’s header, you might want to greet each member individually in the salutation. Of course, this option is only realistic when the group comprises eight members or fewer. Providing an individual salutation for each recipient can indicate personal attention within a large group. It might encourage the reader to feel more fully engaged with your correspondence.
Ensure your envelope and header match
The format of your envelope’s mailing label should always match the header on your letter. Look at the two address blocks side by side before sealing the correspondence to be sure they are identical.