So within the platform, first & last name is optional. When we send out emails with salutation, should we fallback to the e-mail address as a name (when first name = null) or should we just leave it empty?


  • To some extent, it is a personal salutation
  • Confirmation that the e-mail is indeed aimed at you


  • Not really a human way of communicating
  • Sounds spammy, unsure if it influences the open rate for example.

Does anyone have any experience with this issue? And what were your findings? And am I missing something in terms of pro's/con's?

2 Answers 2


The company I work for has done extensive tests on this and changes the text based upon the known information and situation.

All B2B communications, for instance, uses


but, in that scenario, we have all the necessary information.

Our B2C standard is

Dear [FNAME]

However, if we do not have their first name but do have [TITLE] and [LNAME] we use that.


However, if we don't have [FNAME] or both [TITLE] and [LNAME] the text is changed to:

Thank you for contacting [Name of Company redacted]

  • So is there a difference in open rates for these different salutations? My assumption would be that the open rate is lower for the ones where you can't personally address the user. Also, was addressing the user by email-address tested as well, instead of the Thank you for contacting ...
    – Rick P
    Mar 13, 2019 at 16:02
  • I wasn't involved in the early testing and don't know if the email address was used. I would guess the answer is no. I'm curious, as it's something I would not have considered, so I'll ask around. The open rate is markedly lower ... but ... not having a full name means that we have not associated this customer with an order. That happens a lot (over 5% of the time) but generally it indicates an inquiry from someone which we are not doing business with. So - those individuals would have a lower response rate to begin with.
    – Mayo
    Mar 13, 2019 at 16:27
  • I like the way of addressing through "Thank you for contacting ...". But I'm a bit unsure if this is the right way to address for an update-email, as it's something they have opted in to, they're not actively contacting our product every month.
    – Rick P
    Mar 14, 2019 at 10:41
  • You're correct. Your copy editor will have to come up with something. It could be as simple as "Hi". Unless you're in a gaming community I would err to the side of formality.
    – Mayo
    Mar 14, 2019 at 14:52

We can skip the name in case there is no first name, because we know how creative email address can be like [email protected], [email protected]. I just made up those emaila instead just skip the name part in salutation and as we are adding a person in To address technically states the email is inteaded for that person.

  • So in that sense, you would suggest to go for the salutation: "Dear, Lorem ipsum dolor amet..." Just to confirm your suggestion. I agree that the email-adresses can be indeed so diverse and creative.
    – Rick P
    Mar 14, 2019 at 10:38
  • Absolutely, or else we can also go with this approach in case we call the user as employee in our system we can say dear employee. Mar 14, 2019 at 10:56

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