Sometimes a person's gender is unclear from a name _ names like "Corey" or "Blake," are both common women's and men's names. If that is the case, do some investigating to determine gender from searching on LinkedIn or a company website. But if it remains ambiguous, simply write out the person's full name, dropping the title. For example, "Dear Corey Meyer."
Formal communication is on the wane in modern life, but there are still times when it's the only correct way to reinforce a connection or convey information. If you're applying for a job, looking for a recommendation, or expanding your network, err on the side of formality. Don't let the slightly archaic feel of a formal business letter tempt you into using flowery, outdated language.