Start a letter [email] with Hello

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Funkydaise, May 7, 2009.

  1. Funkydaise Member

    France - French/English
    Hello again,

    My question is quite particular:

    I must write an email to some custommers to apologize for a technical problem that accured yesterday on our website. The thing it, I'm not quite sure how to start is, because it has to be quite neutral and friendly at the same time, but not too friendly because we made a mistake and the custommers are probably not very happy...

    Can I just say "Hello" or "Dear custommer" (doesn't that sound a bit weird...?)

    Hope you can help !
  2. Lotuselisa Senior Member

    I would start with their name...

    Dear Mr Smith,

    We would like to apologize for all the unconvenience we may have caused yesterday...
  3. akaAJ Senior Member

    New York
    American English, Yiddish
    "Hello" is often used in emails, to familiars or to fellow site users. It's a makeshift. If you are using email as a fast way to deliver a formal letter, I'd follow Lotuselisa; "Dear Mr. X," is the standard salutation. I think "inconvenience" and "occurred" are correct.

  4. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    As others have said, the best is to personalize your message.

    If it is a mass-mailing, however, I wouldn't hesitate to use "Dear Customer" (with one M only). It is a better way to start an apology than a simple "Hello"

    Or if your company is the XYZ Co., you could say "Dear XYZ Customer," so that it was immediately clear who the message was coming from.
  5. pyan

    pyan Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    English, UK, London
    This is not a question about translation, but about English. I'm going to ask the English Only moderators if they will take the thread. (I don't think they have a thread about this.) In the meantime I am closing the thread to new answers. Sorry for any inconvenience,

    Here are some existing threads which may be helpful, although they are about letters.

    Letter: Opening - a formal letter to a company
    Letter: Opening - addressed to both sexes in plural
    Letter: Opening - May this letter find you well and happy!
    Letter: Opening - Miss, Ms, Mss
    Letter: Opening - using a middle name in a letter salutation
    Letter: Opening - wishing someone luck at the beginning of a letter?
    Letter: Opening -The best way to begin a letter to a friend
    Letter: Opening and closing a personal letter (links at #6)
    Letter: Opening/closing a letter to the editor.
    Letter: Opening: Do you always need Dear ... ?
  6. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    I have moved this to the English Only forum.

    There are already two threads on the question of the correct salutation for an email. I suggest you read them. However, I am not closing this thread, as the threads above discuss how to address individuals. They do not deal with the specific question of how to address customers in general.

    Cagey, moderator.
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There are many possibilities.

    In the middle of the "crisis" I would expect to see a short message of explanation that probably begins:

    To all system users:
    ... or something similar.

    Later, I might be writing to my key contacts in all of the organisations involved. Again, there are many possibilities.

    I might send an e-mail with a totally anonymous heading:
    All users:

    Or I might arrange for it to look like a personally-addressed e-mail that begins like a letter:
    Dear Bill,
    Dear Mr Wainwright,
  8. NRCP Member

    I agree with Lotuselisa. I'll start it putting the her/his name. In this case, It's a formal letter.


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