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Xpajun

Customer Addressing on Emails

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I'm currently updating my store's html email system - big enough job in itself as those that have worked with newsletters will no doubt attest.

 

 

Anyway one of my recent thoughts was "How does everyone address their customers?"

 

 

Addressing them as "Dear (Mr/Ms) First Last" seems so formal and was wondering about using "Hi (Mr/Ms) First Last" instead

 

 

What do you do?

Incidentally the question arises for both plain, as well as, html emails


Currently...:

 

Working with osCommerce 2.3.1

Now working with Phoenix

Add-Ons so far Installed:

Not all of these installed yet on Phoenix - some are and the rest will be

 

Add date and order number to invoice and packing slip,

Products Cycle Slideshow,

Detailed Monthly Sales,

Holiday Settings,

Tracking Module for 2.3

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I go with 'Beste firstname' in dutch and 'Hi firstname' in english.

 

the use of the more informal 'Beste' is less over the top than 'Dear' imo, but then I'm not native english so my feeling for the english nuance might be a little off


KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

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So if you are still here ? What are you waiting for ?!

 

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Hi Julian,

 

That is what I have been using (first name) seems to work (gives a personal touch) being multilingual had the same thoughts myself over the years.

Regards

Joli

 

PS: Burts a cool dude :thumbsup:


To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

 

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How informal (or formal) do you want to be in your communication? Is the tone of your email going to be very breezy? In that case, "Hi [first name]," would be good. "Hello, [first name]," would be slightly more formal. "Hello [Mr/Ms] [last name],", "Hello [Mr/Ms] [first name] [last name],", "Dear [Mr/Ms] [last name],", and "Dear [Mr/Ms] [first name] [last name]," would be in increasing formality. The more unpleasant the task at hand (telling them their child has died, telling them their credit information has been hacked, telling them you're suing them) the more formal in tone you want to be. If you're telling them you're having a big blowout sale on Tommy Bahama board shorts, you can be very informal (that would probably match your intended audience).

 

By the way, watch out for legal requirements for "opt-in" and even "double opt-in" on general newsletters and advertising. Make sure that only people who have expressed a desire to receive such mailings are getting them, and provide an easy way to take them off the mailing list. It's not good to be labeled a spammer because you sent out a newsletter or ad circular to someone who had NOT said that they wanted to receive such things. Serious matters, such as reporting security breaches to customers, are exempt from "opt-in" requirements.

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@@Xpajun

 

In English I use "Dear [first name]", in my other languages it's a totally different story, for example in French people expect you to be extra formal, whilst in Italian it's the exact opposite.

 

If the customers contact me, I adapt myself to their chosen method of addressing me, in other words, if they tell me "Hi Isabella", I reply with "Hi [first name]", if they tell me "Dear Madam", or "Dear Mrs [last name]", I reply with "Dear Sir/Madam", or "Dear Mrs/Ms/Mr [last name]".

 

In my opinion it's important to follow the customers' chosen way of how we address each other.


~ Don't mistake my kindness for weakness ~

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How informal (or formal) do you want to be in your communication? Is the tone of your email going to be very breezy? In that case, "Hi [first name]," would be good. "Hello, [first name]," would be slightly more formal. "Hello [Mr/Ms] [last name],", "Hello [Mr/Ms] [first name] [last name],", "Dear [Mr/Ms] [last name],", and "Dear [Mr/Ms] [first name] [last name]," would be in increasing formality. The more unpleasant the task at hand (telling them their child has died, telling them their credit information has been hacked, telling them you're suing them) the more formal in tone you want to be. If you're telling them you're having a big blowout sale on Tommy Bahama board shorts, you can be very informal (that would probably match your intended audience).

 

By the way, watch out for legal requirements for "opt-in" and even "double opt-in" on general newsletters and advertising. Make sure that only people who have expressed a desire to receive such mailings are getting them, and provide an easy way to take them off the mailing list. It's not good to be labeled a spammer because you sent out a newsletter or ad circular to someone who had NOT said that they wanted to receive such things. Serious matters, such as reporting security breaches to customers, are exempt from "opt-in" requirements.

 

Hi Phil - nice reply, I think you may cover everything...

 

Regarding the newsletters - I understand that and although I have something I was working on when my store was using 2.2 I've only just got around to putting it on 2.3 and I wanted to get the standard emails (create_account, checkout, orders, etc.) sorted and professionalised first so newsletter will be waiting a while yet.


Currently...:

 

Working with osCommerce 2.3.1

Now working with Phoenix

Add-Ons so far Installed:

Not all of these installed yet on Phoenix - some are and the rest will be

 

Add date and order number to invoice and packing slip,

Products Cycle Slideshow,

Detailed Monthly Sales,

Holiday Settings,

Tracking Module for 2.3

Share this post


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Share on other sites

@@Xpajun

 

In English I use "Dear [first name]", in my other languages it's a totally different story, for example in French people expect you to be extra formal, whilst in Italian it's the exact opposite.

 

If the customers contact me, I adapt myself to their chosen method of addressing me, in other words, if they tell me "Hi Isabella", I reply with "Hi [first name]", if they tell me "Dear Madam", or "Dear Mrs [last name]", I reply with "Dear Sir/Madam", or "Dear Mrs/Ms/Mr [last name]".

 

In my opinion it's important to follow the customers' chosen way of how we address each other.

 

 

Good points, if I'm writing email replys I generally follow how the customer has put their email address, if their first is there I use it, if I can't work out their first then I'll use no name... But there again the people within the sport that my business is in will all use first name anyway so maybe that is my answer?


Currently...:

 

Working with osCommerce 2.3.1

Now working with Phoenix

Add-Ons so far Installed:

Not all of these installed yet on Phoenix - some are and the rest will be

 

Add date and order number to invoice and packing slip,

Products Cycle Slideshow,

Detailed Monthly Sales,

Holiday Settings,

Tracking Module for 2.3

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I use

 

whassup dude

or

hows it going babe

 

try it.

 

 

Dude, you are so NOT going to grow old gracefully :rolleyes: :D


Currently...:

 

Working with osCommerce 2.3.1

Now working with Phoenix

Add-Ons so far Installed:

Not all of these installed yet on Phoenix - some are and the rest will be

 

Add date and order number to invoice and packing slip,

Products Cycle Slideshow,

Detailed Monthly Sales,

Holiday Settings,

Tracking Module for 2.3

Share this post


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Share on other sites

This discussion reminds me of something that actually happened back in the early '80s. The (Texas?) Republican Party sent out a fundraising letter asking for contributions to fight those nasty Democrats. One letter was addressed to an Assembly of God church somewhere. It began, "Dear Mr. God,". I guess that would be near the formal end of the spectrum...

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You can also just go with their first name, I feel that this creates a friendly tone for the email; that or "Hi[first name]" works great for informal emails. @@MrPhil made excellent points on formality, but you would need a good buyer persona understanding of your customers to put the ideal greeting. Companies have done extensive testing for items like this, so I recommend looking to see how the companies you deal with greet you. Large corporations that do similar work to you would be a good place to look for ideas, but you can use any company that targets a similar audience.

 

This greeting is more of a description of your company and how formally you are going to address them; I prefer first name relationships, so that is the strategy I employ. Using "sir's and ma'am's" reminds them that this is a business transaction with a company, versus a friend recommending something in a more formal way.

 

There are psychological impacts of everything you put in front of your customers to see; every element should be calculated and a/b tested to true proof of results.

 

Thanks!

 

Matt D.

Atwoodz.com


Atwoodz

osCommerce Experts

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Usually, if you're not sure how formal to be, err on the side of being a little too formal. Most customers would be less annoyed at being addressed as "Mr. John Doe" than they would being addressed as "Hey Jack!". Of course, if your primary customer set is teenagers, the latter would probably be appropriate. You have to know your audience.

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