What's Your Default?
The other day,
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: October 12, 2010
The other day, I received a funny email. The subject line was written in the style in which one colleague writes to another. I knew the sender, so I wasn't sure at the outset whether it was a personal email or a broadcast one. When I opened it, it was an invitation to an event, again written in the style of a personal communication. It began . . .
Dear , Hope all is well. I'm not sure if you're planning to attend [event] this year, but if so, I'd love to catch up with you.I guess it was a broadcast email. This brings up an important issue for anyone involved in personalized marketing at any level — print or e-media — even if it's name-only personalization. What's your default when information is incomplete or missing? Every database should have them. We've all seen these defaults in our mailboxes ("Dear Recipient"), but in today's world of relevance-based, personalized marketing, "Dear Recipient" just won't do. How do you address the person you may have never met and whose name you do not know but whom you want to address in a personal, more intimate way? You might replace the entire salutation ("Dear [name]") with an entirely different greeting. "Good morning!" perhaps. Whatever you do, it needs to be appropriate to the content, the audience, and the message. This is an area that many marketers don't give much thought, but it's one that can be critical to the success of your message.