How to Address Two People in a Business Letter

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How to Address Two People in a Business Letter
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You don't need a green office to save time, energy and resources in your business communications. Ensure that two people get the same message in the most efficient manner by addressing both in the same business letter.

When You Have Two Addressees

Imagine you have an interview for your dream job. When you enter the hiring manager's office, you discover your interview is with two managers, not one. Addressing just one post-interview thank-you letter to both managers is much easier than constructing two separate letters. In this case, both hiring managers get the same message – that you are interested in the job and you appreciate their time. In another instance, you might want to address a business letter to two people who are in different locations and this is perfectly acceptable, and even preferable, when you want to convey an identical message to both addressees.

The Format

The format for your business letter to two people is the same as for one person. The top line should contain the date, then two lines down is your name and return address. Skip another two lines and use one line each for the addressee's name and title, street address and suite number, followed by the city, state and ZIP. When you add another person, begin the second addressee's information two lines down from the first addressee. Always double check the spelling, title and mailing address for each addressee – if you have to, ask the receptionist for the correct information. Many businesses have specific mailing addresses that may differ from the company's physical location.

The Proper Order

When you are writing a business letter to two people, follow the same protocol for business introductions. Listing the addressees is easy if you are writing to the CEO and a department manager: the name and mailing address for the CEO should be listed first, based on organizational hierarchy. If you don't know their respective positions, list the names in alphabetical order, using the person's surname.

The Salutation

Writing a business letter requires a formal tone, such as "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Ms. Jones." When you write to two men, use the plural form of Mr., which is Messrs. For example, begin your letter with "Dear Messrs. Smith and Jackson." Watch your punctuation, too. A colon after the salutation is formal and a comma is informal. Of course, if you're on a first-name basis with both addressees, use "Dear Sue and John," with a comma.

Sincerely or Kind Regards?

The closing you choose for your business letter to two people also may depend on the relationship you have with both and the type of business. "Sincerely," "Yours truly," and even "Kind regards," are professional ways to close your letter, but "Sincerely," is widely accepted as a standard and proper closing. A common military closing is "Very respectfully," but if you're writing a post-interview thank-you letter, "Thank you for your consideration," adds a nice touch.

References

Resources

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in North Carolina and works from her office in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.