When writing a letter to people who you don’t know, “to whom it may concern” has always been a popular choice. However, you’re here to find out if there are better alternatives, right?
Luckily, this article is here to explain how to address a letter to an unknown recipient. We’ve gathered the best synonyms to help you.
Other Ways to Say “To Whom It May Concern”
- Good morning/afternoon/evening
- Hello guys
- Hey there
- Dear Sir or Madam
- Dear All
- To the recipient
- “To whom it may concern” has always been an effective phrase to use in English business letters to unknown recipients.
- You could try “good morning/afternoon/evening” if you know what time someone will read your letter.
- “Hey” is a simple conversational introduction you can use in letters that don’t require a formal tone.
You should read on to learn more about what to say instead of “to whom it may concern.” We have explained the best formal and informal alternatives to help you regardless of the context.
Also, we’ve explained whether it’s still correct to say “to whom it may concern” in a formal letter. You can skip to the final section to learn more about that and whether it’s appropriate.
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening (Formal)
“Good morning/afternoon/evening” is a great formal alternative. You can start emails or letters with it when you want to be polite without knowing the recipient’s name.
Of course, it’s more effective with emails. After all, “good morning/afternoon/evening” assumes that someone is reading something at a specific time.
It’s much easier to say “good morning” in an email when you send it in the morning. However, there’s no guarantee that a letter will arrive for someone to read in the morning. It’s still a useful opener, though.
You may want to start a job application letter with “good morning” (or the relevant time of day when you send it). It shows you are polite and respectful, which many employers will look positively on.
You should certainly use “good morning/afternoon/evening” over “to whom it may concern” in most professional cases. It’s slightly more personal, making it sound like you care more about the recipient.
Perhaps these examples will help you understand it:
I hope this letter finds you well. I’m interested in becoming a part of your fine company.
All the best,
I am writing this letter to ask if there’s anything you’d like to discuss with me formally. I believe we have some conflicting opinions to resolve.
“Hey” is a great example of another way to say “to whom it may concern” in as few words as possible. That’s what makes it so useful as an informal synonym.
You might think that “hey” is too simple, but you’re wrong. It’s a blanket term that allows you to greet anybody, whether you know their name or not.
Of course, “hey” works best as an email opener when writing to a casual company. If you don’t know the recipient but know they represent a company that prefers personal and informal language, then “hey” works well.
Perhaps this example will show you how it works:
I’m writing to let you know that I won’t be able to come to the company party. I’ve already got plans.
Is It Still Correct to Use “To Whom It May Concern”?
“To whom it may concern” is still correct. It’s one of the most common ways to greet unknown recipients. You should use it in business letters when you don’t know the names of the people you’re addressing.
It is not a rude phrase, albeit slightly bland. Many try to avoid using it because it sounds robotic and insincere. Though, it is still useful. It’s one of the best phrases to use when addressing anything to people you aren’t familiar with.
“To whom it may concern” is somewhat outdated. People think it’s far too impersonal in today’s world. It tends to be rare that you don’t know the names of the people reading your letter. Therefore, it’s slowly becoming less popular.
You should bookmark this page to remind yourself of the best synonyms for “to whom it may concern.” Then, you’ll have much better email and letter greetings that work in different contexts.