“Dear Bib on Boulevard Street”

By | February 1, 2011

Dear Bib,

How’s life on Sherwood Boulevard (Street?)? Soon the grass will be lush and green in the Nevada sun.

How’s that John Deere running? Ready to tackle your thick, spring lawn before it gets out of control?

Here at National Spare Lawnmower Parts, we’d like to make a special offer just for our valued customers in ZIP code 8819. Hurry in before February 15, 2010 and get a 15% discount!

Call us today!

Just makes you want to rush in and order spare lawnmower parts, doesn’t it?

This is intended to be funny, but it’s really an amalgam of many of the direct mail horror stories I’ve heard over the past few months.

In my last post, I talked about looking at data from the perspective of readability. In this post, I want to put out the challenge of reasonability. Especially if you have a national audience, you have to remember that generic copy may be appropriate in some areas, but not in others. This is why many marketers first segment their mailings, whether based on demographics, geography, or psychographics (in this case, it would have helped to segment by geographic region) before personalizing them.

Of course, make sure your data is clean. ZIP codes should have all five digits, dates and offers for ongoing campaigns should be kept updated, and no Bibs on Boulevard Streets, please!

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One thought on ““Dear Bib on Boulevard Street”

  1. David Williams

    Clean data is essential. Personalized mass communications provide a fun and interesting challenge in planning and writing to fit the variations that will exist within a clean data set. Thank you for this funny example of how not to do it.

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