'How’s It Goin’, Eh?' And Other Salutation Dilemmas
After I opened three emails in a row that started with “Hey there,” I realized that my surprised reaction could be attributed to my Canadian/British upbringing. But still, in a B-to-B communication, is it appropriate to open the dialogue with “Hey there”?
While it’s proven that a personalized salutation (“Dear <<First Name>>”) out-performs the more generic (“Dear Friend”) in direct mail for charitable asks, and a 2013 Email Marketing Study from Experian claims that personalized emails deliver six-times higher transaction rates, then why is the trend changing?
Like most of you, I get hundreds of business emails in my inbox every single day. Some are well written, informative and chock full of interesting and useful information — others not so much. I admit that when the email from someone I am not familiar with starts with “Dear Carolyn,” I take an extra second to scan the content because I think I may know them … and this is a marketer's dream.
But don’t just take my focus group of one as gospel. Marketing Experiments did a head-to-head test to determine if letter-style emails were still effective, and they were able to get a 181 percent lift in conversion when a more formal/traditional style of communication was used. Why?
As Flint M. points out:
- An email message is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue. People buy from people.
- If the marketer can learn to participate with the prospect’s conversation, they can guide it with messaging towards your desired conclusion (clicks/purchase).
- Effective email messaging requires one key skill: Empathy (the ability to discern the nature or being of the customer).
The bottom line is that in order for B-to-B emails to be most effective, marketers must set aside their own self-interests to fundamentally understand the interests or “pain” of their target audience — and it does NOT start by addressing me as “Hey there.”
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.