Saturday, December 11, 2010

The One-Off Custom Mail-Merge

It sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it?

A mail-merge is a bulk-send facility. Spit out 250 identical letters, customized with the addressees name, 250 envelopes, 250 postage stamps, then sit back and wait.

Think Again!

I’ve just got off the phone with Marco, head of research in a large and prosperous financial institution. I invited him to lunch. He very politely declines, saying that he didn’t see the connection.

That’s OK. In deed, I’m getting quite used to acceptance, so that rejection is almost a relief.

Marco’s line was similar to “I don’t see the fit; we are financial analysts”, which I knew already; I wasn’t prepared for that and should have been.

I could have trotted out my “Weather-Vain into prospector” line.

Still, it’s not too late.

Suppose in 3 weeks time I sent a letter that appeared to be a mass-mail-merge newsletter, but touched on, and was couched in terms that had appeared in the original press release?

The recipient, Marco, would perceive it as a mass-mailing, but perhaps be surprised by the closeness of my business to his.

It’s worth a thought.

Of course, I will automate this; it will be a mass-mailing in the sense that at the end of the month I’ll do a mail-merge run to identify all rejections.

But the letter content can be a carefully hand-crafted as the one I wrote to win back my girlfriend, years ago.

Talk to Me !

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