This week alone, I received a newsletter that began: “Hi Mike…”, a solicitation mailing inside my envelope that was addressed to a doctor in Michigan, and a campaign letter that was also for someone else entirely. It did not matter what the rest of the message contained, I never read past the error.

If the sweetest sound anyone can hear is their name, the corollary means that getting their name wrong is like nails on a chalkboard. And if one person got an incorrect address in a mass mailing, it’s likely that an entire batch is off and multitudes are tossing the materials into the recycle bin.

The question is whether the sender even knows it.

It’s easy to ship a file off to the mail service and consider the task complete, but marketers should always institute a measure of quality control. Add your own name to the list and evaluate the timing and condition of the material when it arrives. Add a few others to the list and recruit them to be quality checkers. And if you aren’t fully confident about your systems, it’s best to stop the personalization until you are.

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