In writing a business letter, it is part of business letter etiquette to include a salutation. The salutation is the greeting used to begin the letter proper. Its purpose is to express courtesy in your business letters, which is a must in correspondence, being that etiquette is a basic requirement.
As in printed business letters, the salutation is placed at the beginning of the body of the letter so as to open it. This allows the reader to be introduced to the letter with a courteous beginning. The salutation also has a counterpart in the business letter ending, in the form of the valediction.
Information to Include in a Business Email Salutation
Being that a business email has a specific purpose, that implies that the salutation in any business letter example would contain specific information such as:
- Name of the recipient, if at all possible. This makes the salutation more specific, and serves to make the letter more personal to the recipient.
- Honorific, so as to give proper acknowledgement of the recipient. This is particularly important whenever the recipient is higher than the sender.
- Salutation proper, which includes such examples as “Dear,” “To whom it may concern,” “Sir/Madam,” etc.
Steps for Writing Business Email Salutations
There are also some steps to adhere to when you want make your own business email salutations, which you may also notice in sample business letters.
- First, get the recipient’s name if possible, so that your letter can have more of an impact on the recipient.
- If you cannot get the recipient’s name, then there are alternate options that you can use, such as addressing the letter as sir/madam or “To whom it may concern” so as to stay neutral.
- If you have got the recipient’s name, add the honorific if at all possible, and be sure to use the correct honorific to reflect their position.
Tips for Writing Business Email Salutation
Of course, you may also elect to make use of certain tips so as to make your business letter formats most effective. After all, these tips can definitely go some way to helping you come up with a salutation that can make a good first impression.
- Be professional. Business letters in Word are meant to be formal documents, so you should keep in mind that you would be expected to word your letter so as to remain formal and reserved.
- Remember to format your salutation properly. Being that this is a professional document, one requirement is making sure that the salutation is free of errors so that you can be taken seriously.
- Greet your recipient directly, if possible. This is important, as it can make your letter even more powerful, as you have a contact person whom you can communicate with directly.
- Adjust your salutation depending on your knowledge of the recipient. There are different options with regard to salutations, so be sure to use whichever is most appropriate to whomever you communicate with.
These tips can go some way to ensuring that your salutations are proper, which only makes it easier for you to communicate with your recipients.