It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. I’m not willing to got hat far, but I will say that when an email starts with “Hey there, Lynn,” and then launches into a query, I usually blink a few times because I’m wondering, “Who on earth is this person, and why are they talking to me like I’m their lifelong budinski?”
I expect that kind of a salutation from my friends. Heck, I’ll even answer to “Hey, Dirtbag” provided it’s from a family member or a friend. A really good friend. But I don’t want to see it in a query letter because it suggests a relationship that doesn’t exist.
Maybe I met you at a writer’s conference or a seminar. I could have talked with you at great length. Heck, you may have even bought me a glass of wine. But I talk to literally hundreds of authors every year, and I’m lousy with names.
If I did speak with you, then don’t be afraid to mention it in your query – “I’m the one who talked to you about the five-minute metaphysical mom. Oh yah, and we shared a plate of chicken skewers.” Oh yes! I’ll totally remember you. But to casually sign your name at the bottom of your query without a hint of a past encounter leaves me scratching my head. I scratch my head and wander about aimlessly enough as it is. I hardly need further encouragement.
No, a seriously casual salutation like “Hey, Lynn” won’t get you on my crabby side, but I will think you a tad too familiar. Now, the beagle, on the other hand, doesn’t care one whit for preamble. She’ll sniff your pockets to see if you have any designer doggy treats. If you’re packin’, she’ll lurve you forever.