A lot of agents ask that you personalize your query.
(My thoughts on personalization are here)
Beyond Dear Snookums (ie using their name) what makes for effective personalization?
First: Actual personal connection is great
Example: We met at Bouchercon when we were both blown away by Dana Haynes presentation on effective plotting.
Example: We met at CrimeBake and your advice on redrafting my query was very useful.
Example: I read your blog, and while you're not as funny as you think you are, it's been useful to meet the blog readers there.
(Ok, not that middle part)
Second: Research on how your book fits the agent's list
Example: I write fast paced thrillers and would love to be on the same shelf as Patrick Lee.
Example: I write first person traditionals with a twist like Terry Shames.
Example: I write fun cozy mysteries with off-beat characters who will charm their way in to your hearts like Loretta Sue Ross
Example: I write books like Jeff Somers. Which is to say with cats draped across me like a pashmina.
Third: Responding to a specific request for a kind of book
Example: I saw your #MSWL includes dino porn. Tales from the Swamp is dino porn
Example: I saw you tweet that you are "dying for good Icelandic noir" which is what Title is.
Least effective: your website says you're looking for high octane thrillers.
Least effective with a bullet: your website says you're looking for well-written books.
Now to the good stuff: what questions do you have?