What is the correct way to address the recipient of a professional email, when only the last name of the person is known? Would it be more polite to say, for example "Dear Mr/s Smith" or "Dear A. Smith" I don't have much experience writing formal emails and could really use some advice
3Personally, I would just call the organization and find out. Otherwise, it's simply a case where you don't know the recipient's name, for which see “Dear Sir or Madam” versus “To whom it may concern”, Title in a letter to an unknown person, and What is the best salutation to use in cover letter when I don't have contact information? among others.– chosterApr 12, 2017 at 2:26
3I solve this problem by dispensing with the Dear So-and-so line, and substituting it with "Good morning" or "Good afternoon."– aparente001Apr 12, 2017 at 5:05
Below the recipient's address, simply begin the text of your letter; e.g., "I am writing to express my interest in the position of Chief Financial Officer for your organization." etc.– Mark HubbardApr 13, 2017 at 1:37
The late great William Safire answered this question in 1989. His recommendation:
William Safire, The Mulvihill Perplexity (On Language), 25 June 1989, New York Times.