Here is an overlooked way to boost your direct mail response:
Your salutation
Though it’s only two or three words, your salutation is a critical component of any non-personalized direct mail campaign.
If you’ve ever received a direct mail letter that has your name spelled wrong in the salutation, you know how much of a turn-off a bad salutation can be. Misspelled names result in lost sales.
If you’re working from a database and have names for your prospects, you may choose to personalize the piece. But what if you’re not personalizing? You’ll need an effective way to connect with your prospect and again interest right from the start.
The most common salutation is “Dear Friend.” I also happens to be the weakest.
If you truly want success in your direct mail campaign, you have to target your audience. If you’re addressing an architect, write “Dear Architect.”  If you’re going after an investor, write “Dear Investor.”

Salutation makes all the difference! (Credit:

Try a power salutation
Sometimes added drama and emotion are required. In this case, the salutation can have more personality to it. It’s what I call a “power salutation.”
Here are some examples:

  • Dear Abused Taxpayer,
  • Dear Conservative Investor
  • Dear Time-Pressured Researcher
  • Dear Misunderstood CFO

A power salutation helps set the tone for the theme of the letter. It encourages readership, grabs the attention of the prospect, and increases response.
Take a look at your salutation. Is it anemic? Weak? How can you strengthen it? Your salutation may only be two or three words of your entire letter, but it’s a critical place to grab interest.
Has your latest direct marketing campaign been successful or was it a failure? Did it have something to do with proper or improper salutations? Or was it something else? Call me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at and we will give you a free consultation on how to improve your direct marketing campaigns.