Dear Valued Customer

In some messaging campaigns, it is appropriate to use this addressing moniker when a customer's name is not know. Many small and large sized businesses are afflicted by incomplete customer profiles. While using "Dear Valued Customer" as a salutation within a bulk email is indirect and lacks the connectivity marketers strive for with their customers, it still has value when used appropriately. Consider these two bulk email examples where the customer's name is not known. One used "Valued Customer" in the subject line of the email. In the other example, no data validation was used prior to the send. If the salutation or subject line is the first impression a customer sees in their digital inbox, the email could be less personalized if those details aren't known. Frankly, both of these emails are unappealing, impersonal, and simply not the kind of email that conjures up warm, fuzzy feelings about their respective firms.

Example 1: Adidas, general mailing (using CheetahMail)

Example 2: Kroger, general corporate announcement to all customers (Epsilon data breach)

When competing for pocketshare (how much of a consumer's wallet is allocated to a particular company's brand, products or services), it would be better if Adidas just left off the "valued customer" greeting and replaced it with just the main subject line. I don't believe it would be detrimental to open rates nor click-thrus if they left off this impersonal greeting. Kroger, on the other hand, should have used the "Valued Customer" greeting for customer accounts where the name isn't known. Then the email would not have looked like they had a data mishap with their email provider.
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