Saturday, April 10, 2010

Don’t oil it up

When personalizing a direct mailer, few mistakes will come across as being more “greasy” than that created by misspelling someone’s name.

A company (and its agency or design firm) spends a lot of time and money creating and sending items like this with the intent of creating good will and of course, sales. But when my name is spelled incorrectly, it didn’t just earn a “no sale” from me. It's not neutral - it's "negative:” they are less likely to get business from me as a result. I don’t hate the company for errors like this – but I won’t even consider their services in the future.

OK, maybe it’s just me and my quirky last name (that’s capital “O” and capital “H” and that “comma thing” between them is called an apostrophe), but nothing is more personal than a name. And when it’s spelled incorrectly, it tells me that you don’t really know me and that you don’t really care enough to get it right.

It’s not just one of the first precepts of journalism – it’s also one of the fundamental rules of good personalized marketing:

Whatever you do, spell the name correctly.

Got that, NTG? (stands for, "Not Too Good"). Oops, I spelled it wrong, NTB.

Jim O’Hare