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I'm writing an email to a group of people, and I don't know how to cleanly indicate that: (A) It is primarily for two of those people (the others are receiving the mail as an FYI) (B) I need a response from at least one of the primary two.

Typically I would address it to a main user:

Hi (User1),

(request of info)

(signature)

In this case I need the feedback from two users, and I'm not sure how to group both of them together. Particularly, I'm not sure how to group them together and make clear that I'm expecting a response from at least one of them.

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    This question is off-topic here and will probably be closed, but this question on ELL might be helpful: Different ways to show Salutations in an email – Goodbye Stack Exchange Feb 7 '17 at 17:52
  • IMHO, this isn't a "help me rephrase" question at all. It's a genuine obstacle that OP has encountered -- not the precise words of the phrasing, but how one simultaneously addresses multiple people, with different "purposes" in reading. – Standback Feb 27 '17 at 21:40
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TL;DR; This can be easily fixed by saying Hi user1 and user2! Proper usage of the To:, CC:, and BCC:, can also help signal whose attention you are trying to get. Whether you say good morning user1 and user2 or hi is up to you but there is nothing wrong in putting both their names there.

That is a bit of a hard one to answer without understanding the relationship of the group. Is this school or work? I assume a workplace but if that is the case, are they co-workers? Management? Subordinates? I always try to choose wordings that best target my audience. To whom it may concern is a popular choice but comes off as a bit distant. To me, that is typically used when sending a letter to a business and not sure who would be the one receiving it. Good morning, and so on as Thomo said in his comment is usually one of the best ways to be polite and professional and one of my favorites to use.

I am slightly thrown off though because you are looking for feedback from 2 specific people in hopes 1 would reply. Not sure how a change of greeting would signal someone you want them to reply. The best most direct way for this usually found in e-mails is directly asking for it in the body. Or you can simply say Hi bob and jenny!

Also, how you provide the grouping of recipients helps out a lot too in determining feedback. Are the 2 users you want feedback from both in the To: section? Users in this section know that this email is directed TO them and not simply added for FYI. in the CC: section people here usually know they are added in for the FYI with the ability to chip in should they feel the need to. the BCC: is where you add people like management or uppers who you want to see the email and everyone who was attached so that they can stay informed without possibly freaking out the main audience that management is also in on the email and they can respond with honesty instead of what they think management wants them to say.

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  • Thank you for the extra thought on this. I do like Thomo's "Good morning/afternoon/day" option and is actually how I proceeded on this item. This is a work correspondence, the relationship is a bit difficult to explain as well. I work in IT and this communication is to department heads for feedback that is required to continue. The confusion is definitely understandable. The TO: is for the two I expect a response from. CC includes the "FYI" users. I often only receive half of the expected response (from User1) and User2 sits back unless explicitly called out. – Izulien Feb 11 '17 at 0:26
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  • Greetings,
  • To whom it may concern,

'Hi' works. What you intend to convey should be dealt through the body of the text.

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  • Also Good morning, Good afternoon and Good evening (depending on what time the e-mail is written). It's professional and polite. – user18397 Feb 8 '17 at 0:54
  • @Thomo I did go with this option for sure but was hoping to ping the second user's idea. – Izulien Feb 11 '17 at 0:26

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