We all want to be loved – it’s only human nature, after all – and there’s nothing like a personal greeting to show you care.
I don’t want to come over all Walter White (you have watched Breaking Bad, right?) but it’s a question of professional respect.
By writing Dear Tony or Hi Tony rather than a generic “Hey there!” or “Hiya” or even, God forbid, “Hey Lovely”, I’m already better disposed to you.
Don’t go over the top and starting calling me Mr Turnbull, though – that just comes across as plain weird.
I’m not your special friend and you are sending the identical email to every contact in your book – I get that – but by taking the trouble to individualise your blanket email in this most rudimentary way, you are already differentiating yourself from the hundreds of other emails we journalists get every day. And that has got to be a good thing. It doesn’t mean I’ll read all your message from start to finish, but at least I won’t stop at the very first word.