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.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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