12 Ways to Annoy Donors and Prospects (Part 6)
By Wayne Gurley
President & Creative Director
6. Using “Dear Friend” in a personalized letter instead of “Dear [First Name.]”
If you can’t determine an accurate salutation in a personalized letter (such as Mr., Ms., Mrs. or Miss), then just use Dear “First Name” instead of “Dear Friend.”
Some organizations don’t like this because it seems they’re being too familiar with their readers and wouldn’t call them by their first name unless they really knew them personally.
But to me, “Dear Friend” is highly impersonal. I almost never use it unless I’m not using personalization at all. In my view, accuracy is more important than being overly familiar or too personal.
Using “Dear [First Name]” is the most accurate way of personalizing when you don’t have an accurate salutation. (And don’t use Mrs. or Miss unless you’re sure of a woman’s marital status. (Ms.is broadly acceptable for a woman whose marital status is unknown.)
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