Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dear Comma

Just received a "personalized" email that totally left out my name. It starts:

Dear ,

I like personalization, but not forced personalization - where it's clear a name was just inserted electronically from a roster. It has the potential to really highlight how impersonal it is as well.

The formal name when you're not called that: Any email that starts "Dear Cynthia," is either from my dad or someone who doesn't know me at all or they'd use Cindy.

The address that guesses if you're Ms. or Mrs.: Dear Mrs. Butts. I assume they really meant to reach my mother-in-law.

Or just leaving the name out entirely: Dear [blank],

Before you personalize, decide if it's personal. And if you're doing it electronically, consider the potential that if the first part screws up what impact the rest of the email might have.

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