How solutions can make or break your response rate.

Be selective in your salutation for a landing page, direct mail letter or email. Avoid, at all costs, using those trite, stuffy openings like “Dear Sir” or “Dear Gentlemen.”

Your first choice is using the project or client’s real name. But often that’s not possible.

An often-overused choice among marketers is “Dear Friend.” It’s OK, but if you can target your opening, do so.

For example, “Dear Software Engineer,” “Dear Art Collector,” “Dear Tennis Nut,” “Dear Executive,” or “Dear World Traveler” can help you zero in on your readers and establish a better rapport.

However, how personal you get should depend on your audience.

Depending on your audience, make it personal, such as “Dear Fellow Investor” or “Dear Fellow Taxpayer.” And consider your positioning and the use for one emotion. “Dear Abused Taxpayer,” “Dear Concerned Investor,” or “Dear Overworked Assistant.”

Your personal salutation helps your prospect relate to you and set up the case you are making in your copy.

For personalized letters, never, ever say: “Mr. John Jones.” It will hurt response. Use either the first or the last name—not both.

For more tips on writing copy that works, see chapter 19 of my book The New Multichannel, Integrated Marketing: 29 Trends for Creating a Multichannel, Integrated Campaign to Boost Your Profits Now. Click here to order on Amazon.

Want more advice on great direct response copy? Give me a call at 615-814-6633 or email me at