Some nerdy types did analysis of over 300,000 emails to see which common email openings had the best response rate. And it really goes to show that this stuff is seriously worth testing out:
Using a more casual greeting (like hey/hello) had almost 10% higher responses than “Dear”. And as the article highlights, a more formal greeting is typically used when there’s less shared context or if people don’t like each other – which isn’t great if you’re looking to build trust with your supporters.
Interestingly enough, just including an opening (any opening at all) generally increased response rate.
The team at Quartz include this very helpful insight, too:
Before you toss “Dear” in the dustbin, keep in mind that the data we analyzed may not be representative of email data at large. Online communities tend to be more informal, so you might find a different distribution of openings, and different response rates across them, in more formal settings. The same research also showed that participants in online communication tend to mimic each other in the formality of their writing. So keep your audience in mind when you’re starting to write a new message.
So, remember who you’re talking to. You know your audience better than anyone (hopefully) – but if in doubt, test it out!