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Chapter 8: Phrasing Your Greeting
Before you write the first paragraph of your letter, you’ll have to decide on what to use as a greeting, or whether such a salutation is even necessary. Almost all personal letters have a greeting line, and since the most effective direct mail letters are those with a person-to-person approach, this is one of the best ways to add a personal touch.

The problem is deciding which one to use. Here are some tips on how to select greetings, or salutations.

  • The most effective greeting includes the customer’s name. This is particularly important on higher priced items. ‘Dear Mr. Jones,’ works better than ‘Dear Friend.’
  • When using the customer’s name in the salutation, be sure to get it right. Nothing gets a customer more upset than misspelling his or her name.
  • When using the customers name in the greeting, be sure to get the ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ title right. The worst thing you can do with a salutation is to offend the reader. Avoid incorrect gender specific salutations.

    If your mailing list doesn’t include a way to determine this, don’t use it. Instead, try ‘Dear Bill,’ or ‘Dear Bill Myers.’
  • You can go overboard with personalized salutations. Too much personalized information scares those people who value their privacy.
  • The main objective when using a greeting line is to make the letter more personal. If you use the customers name improperly, you lose the benefits of using the name at all.
  • In almost all cases the salutation, “Dear Friend,” is acceptable.
  • Always use some salutation. Starting a letter without at least ‘Dear Friend,’ instantly depersonalizes the letter. And since the letter isn’t to anyone, no one is compelled to read it.
  • The most frequently used salutations are:
    ♦ Dear Friend
    ♦ Dear Customer
    ♦ Dear Reader
    ♦ Dear (name of your company) Customer
    ♦ Dear parent
    ♦ Dear (adjective) Friend
    ♦ Dear Member
    ♦ Dear Subscriber
    ♦ Dear Executive
    ♦ Dear Fellow (title)
    ♦ Dear Doctor
    ♦ Dear Investor
    ♦ Dear Home Owner
    ♦ Dear Book Lover

Source: 301 Direct Mail Tips, Techniques & Secrets
Category: My articles | Added by: Marsipan (04.12.2012) W
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