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)