Greetings & Salutations: 5 Questions You Need to Answer Before Writing Your Next Email or Letter
4. If I can't use a person's name in the salutation, are there other ways to make it have personal appeal?
Yes, you can still use the data you have to make the salutation as personal as possible. For example, Dear Valued Customer, Dear BWM Owner or Dear Busy Mom. All of these make a more powerful connection than simply saying Dear Customer or Dear Friend.
5. How do I punctuate a salutation?
If your organization is a stickler for following traditional standards, read up on punctuation in resources like The Chicago Manual of Style or the AP Stylebook. However, in today's world of less formal electronic communications (often driven by character counts), commas (,) and colons (:) are often missing in email salutations. And it's not unheard of to use an aposiopesis (an ellipsis [...] that trails off) or even an exclamation point (!). It's more about brand voice than following or breaking rules.
If you want to check out what other marketers are doing, you may want to tap the Who's Mailing What! searchable database of that archives actual email and direct mail samples.
Pat Friesen is the author of the best-selling Direct Marketing IQ report, "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook." She writes for direct mail, email, blogs, catalogs, the Web and other direct response media. She's also a sought-after copy coach, workshop presenter and columnist for Target Marketing magazine. Contact Pat at (913) 341-1211 and Pat@PatFriesen.com.