I have built a template to follow when creating auto notifications from an internal system (for employees only), I had been advocating for including the greeting Hello <Name>.

Currently the auto notifications say Dear <Name>, which I think is very old fashioned.

However, now I am questioning whether we need a greeting at all. It's obviously an auto generated email and there are rules as to when you would receive it (i.e. only if it is a status update or for an action – not FYI purposes).

Is the greeting superfluous given we are all very busy and just want to know what we need to do?

  • Welcome to the site! I don't think it matters much what greeting you use as long as it's consistent with the tone elsewhere in the system. If you can give us a bit more context about who is communicating with whom using this system, and how they usually communicate, you might find you've answered your own question. Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 4:23
  • Thanks - the problem is that there is little consistency at present so looking to introduce best practice guidelines. The auto emails will come from a HR system to employees, however employees will get a mix of these auto messages and messages from the operations team. The question is really around if you receive an auto response that appears to be from a system, is it expected / standard to have a greeting i.e. the system to be saying 'hi'?
    – user41261
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 4:30

2 Answers 2


It's all about the purpose of the message:

For a message that conveys factual information such as an acknowledgement of submission or system update I would say you could go with with John Doe, or no name at all.

If it is something like a seasonal greeting then Hi John, or Hello John Doe, would be more suitable.


It really depends on the tone of the message itself. If purely informational and somewhat formal, I would say go with simply John Doe,. However, if the tone is light and informal, I'd go with Hello Mr. Doe,.

Another thing to consider is whether these messages are intended to seem as if they are being written by humans or simply a transfer of information from computer to human. If the latter, no greeting is warranted, if the former, it would be just as appropriate as in a message from another human.

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