“Dear Valued Customer” Please stop!

This makes me cringe, and I can’t believe in 2017 some companies are still doing this and not producing personalised content.

I received an email earlier this week with the opening “Dear Valued Customer” and it made me want to leave at that moment.

Having personalised content in your emails is not just easy, it’s required in today’s marketing landscape. Saying “Dear Valued Customer” doesn’t just show that you don’t know how to personalise your content, but it makes the recipient feel as if you don’t care about them (or value them) enough to correspond directly with them.

Personalised emails or direct mail deliver 6x higher transaction rates than generic content1, and it’s incredibly easy to implement this into your business. You can even take this a step further. Personalised websites are the future of interaction with your customer and deliver 93% of companies a direct uplift in sales.2

But what if I don’t know the customer’s name?

If you don’t know the customer or prospect’s name then the first question to ask is why not? It’s easy to capture that person’s name through your onboarding process or during sign-up.

If you’re not able to obtain their name, then tools such as Clearbit, which lookup data on an email address, can provide you with a name, company, job title and even more.

Alternatively, use a nondescript opening. It’s much better to open an email with, “Hello,” or “Hi there,” than use an opening which shows you haven’t personalised your message to the recipient.

But what if I only know the customer’s full name?

If you know the customer’s name, then there is no excuse not to use it in your correspondence. It’s simple to implement within your email or direct mail campaigns and will have a measurable effect on your business.

A question I hear often is “I’ve only captured their full name in one field” and understandably, they wouldn’t like to send an email with, “Dear Mr Bob Bobbington”3 but there is a solution. There is a range of systems on the market, such as Zapier, which can automate the process of removing the known variables.

Known variables in a full name field will include spaces, full stops or control words such as Mr, Mrs, Ms or even Archbishop. This will give you a clean first full word, which more often than not, is the recipients first name.

If you’re not able to pull the first name out, then see my point above, where simply opening the email with “Hello,” has never killed anyone.

Personalisation should be used throughout your business. From every email, you send to each letter that is delivered and even on your website. In addition to this, it’s important to personalise based on a larger customer profile of likes, buys, and other data to create a truly personalised experience.

If you need help developing a personalised campaign then our team are happy to help.



1 Experian

2 Econsultancy

3 Fictitious name