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Stop Addressing Emails with “Dear Sir/Madam”

Don't use Sir or Madam in emails -- that's lazy!

I know the sender is lazy when I get addressed as “Dear Sir/Madam” in any email or website form they fill out to send their pitch. Or they bought a list and mass-mailed thousands. Either way, not impressive for a new contact.

How do I know this? Because my sites are so me.

With just one or two clicks, it is on the About page, and you know that “Judith” is the person behind the site. And to be clear, I am not a Sir, nor do I consider myself a Madam.

Lazy Email Greetings

So, if one wants to contact me with a business-related email and uses this greeting, I know they are probably not too discriminating. They’ll contact anyone with their offer.

They’ll do business with anyone who responds. They just want to get their message in front of whoever is behind the website form they copy-n-pasted into.

You would think they would want to know about the person they are emailing. That’s called qualifying leads, and in the process, you can address the person you are emailing by name and target specifically why they need what you are selling.

Nope — they don’t care about who I am. They want to get their message, resume, or sales pitch across with the least effort. Then, most likely, moving on to the next.

What do you think that says about your offer, prospectus, business, or “opportunity?” This approach indicates you don’t care much about relationships or credibility. Instead, you’re throwing anything at the wall to see what sticks. Taking a lazy spammy approach is rarely effective.

Find a Name and Use It

Then, some email and address me by name. Some use Ms. Kallos or Judith — either way; I know they at least took a moment of their time to understand who they are emailing. Then, unfortunately, many go on to do the things that indicate I am just one of many on a list.

If you are doing business online or using technology, have you not heard that personalization is everything? From generating interest to acquiring new partnerships — one size fits all is not all that effective.

Speaking for myself, I am always impressed when this extra effort is made. However, I also can share that I am more apt to read offers or requests from folks who email in a personalized, targeted manner over the mass form spammers who want to copy and paste and hit send (I hit Delete!).

Business is About the Little Efforts

Particularly in business, this little extra Email Etiquette effort in your business emails goes a long way to impress the other side. You relay a serious and professional impression primarily because so many do not make these efforts. An actual situation where the cream rises to the top.

What can a business person do if they need help finding a name to address their email specifically? If you are serious about being taken seriously, why not pick up your smarty-phone and ask? Or you can email and ask who is the best person to address your inquiry by simply greeting with a “Hello.”

Details matter when it comes to business emails of any kind. And there are situations where email is not the best mode for first contact. Use your discretion.

Make the extra effort to know who you are addressing and address them personally and professionally. That’s how you make a first contact that can produce results.

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