Important Letter Writing Etiquette for Introductory Salutation

Introductory Salutation Letter Etiquette

Introductory salutation has a very important role to play in every kind of letter writing. It actually sets the ambiance for the rest of the letter. It can make or simply break the effectiveness linked with the sentiment of the letter. You need to consider the kind of relationship you entertain with the recipient. This is very important especially in business letters. The level of formality is always linked to the name, gender and position of the person the letter is sent to.

Basic Introductory Salutation Letter Etiquette

Here is a list of the basic introductory salutations you need to keep in mind in the letter writing process:

  • ‘Dear’ followed by the person’s name is generally the most standard way to open a business letter. Examples may be Dear Patrick, Dear Ms. Wong, Dear Mr. and Dr. Simpson, Dear Professor Ben etc.
  • If you are not must familiar with the reader or your relationship is a bit formal, you may use ‘Dear’ followed by the title and the last name or simply use the first name. For example, Dear Ms. Herper or Dear Rose.
  • If you are uncertain if a woman uses Miss or Mrs., use Ms. just to be on the safe side.
  • Use Professor, Dean, Sister, Rabbi, Imam, Senator, Governor, Captain, Admiral, and Judge instead of Mr., Ms., Mrs., and Dr. for these designations.
  • Use both names in the introductory salutation if you are writing to two people. For example, Dear Mr. Watson and Ms. Taylor
  • If you are uncertain about a person’s gender, use the full name instead. For example, Dear M.K. Cooper.
  • If you are uncertain about a person’s name or gender use generic greetings like ‘Dear Recruiter’, ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ instead of ‘To Whom It May Concern’.

Here is a tip: If you know the recipient quite well, salutations won’t matter much, but of you are in any kind of dilemma, always choose the formal route. The bottom line is salutation can make or break the success of your communication. The more appropriate your salutation is the more is the chance of a positive response.

To sum up, what matters in salutation is to determine the level of formality you want to forecast. If you could get this part right, you won’t have much difficulty in choosing the right salutation.

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