Fiverr hosts a diverse community of sellers from all over the world, but is a platform where English is the primary language. English is not taught in many of the countries where many hard-working sellers are from, and the English that is taught is sometimes dated and a little too formal. Oftentimes I will get messages where I am referred to as ‘dear’, ‘sir’, and once ‘madam’(???). These are a major turnoff to me, and to buyers as well!
Please allow me to offer my opinion on how to address a buyer at different levels of formality.
When I want to be really formal for a big project, a client I don’t know, or someone whose buyer request or message to me is written very formally, I like to start with: ‘Greetings,’ and two new lines.
Thank you for reaching out to me. In regards to your project, blah blah blah.
Once a client shows to me that they’re willing to be more casual, I drop my formal act and speak more casually as well.
For clients with whom I am a little more familiar, the project is casually written, or the message is very casual, I’ll usually greet:
‘Good morning/afternoon/evening,’ whatever their displayed time is. It shows that you’re paying attention to where they’re from and what their needs are.
Many buyers tend toward casual speak after a few messages or interactions, and this is where you can get the most comfortable. For clients with whom I am familiar, or who use text talk or abbreviations (or curse words not aimed at me), I’ll use the most casual: ‘Hey there!’ ‘Hello there!’ ‘Hey again!’
I never use Sir or Ma’am, and especially not Dear. Using the appropriate level of formality is professional, but follow your buyer’s lead. Stay one step above the level of speak they’re using with you. If they’re very casual, be a little casual. If they’re a little formal, be as polite as possible. Some people treat Fiverr messages like a chat room (which is okay) or a text messaging service. It’s fine to do the same, but always remember who the professional is (it’s you!). If you can’t figure out what to call someone, just call them by their display name.
When closing a message, I act the same way.
For the most formal clients, I might end: ‘Warmest regards,’ or ‘Best wishes,’ or ‘Wishing you the best,’. Sometimes I might use ‘Thank you for your time,’
Less formally: ‘Thank you,’
and less formally still, ‘Thanks!’ or ‘Good luck!’ when finishing a project for them and they are satisfied.
I usually sign my name afterward–your buyer is a real person and you are a real person too!
To summarize, let me give you an example of how I might respond to a buyer reaching out to me about one of my gigs.
Thank you for reaching out to me! I would like to work on your project, but I have a few questions before I get started. How many words need recorded, and what sort of tone would you like me to narrate with? I have two orders in queue at the moment, so I can get started tomorrow. Does that work for you?
Wishing you the best,
This usually nets me good results!
This post is a little disorganized, but I hope it gives you good results!
A valuable edit: