Most personal letters include four parts: a heading, an opening, the body and a closing. The heading usually includes the date for personal letters while the opening has a salutation. The body has the information that is being communicated, and the closing includes a complimentary closing followed by the writer's signature.
The opening salutation of a personal letter varies, but some typical ones include "Dear," "Hello," "Hi" or "Season's Greetings" if the letter is sent during the holidays. "Dear" is most commonly used, as it doesn't necessarily imply intimacy between the writer and the reader. After the opening salutation, the sender provides the name of the receiver. It is safer to provide the full name or last name; however, if the sender and receiver are close, simply a first name is acceptable.
Common complimentary closings include "Regards," "Sincerely Yours" or "Cordially." If the letter is sent to someone who is sick, then the sender can use "Get Well Soon."
Letters are still used in some contexts, such as the holidays, complaint and travel correspondence. Since letters require more effort than other means of communication, they create a lasting impression. The large number of circumstances in which personal letters are sent makes it difficult to pinpoint any one way in a letter should be written.