If you’re going to spend large amounts of hard-won cash on marketing to your next set of prospects, surely it’s a given that you should get the basics right?

Apparently not for some businesses. This rant is brought to you courtesy of a big, glossy mailout that landed on my desk. It was well designed and the information was encompassed in a high quality folder. It bore the hallmarks of a serious and successful business – until I opened it.

For inside was an introductory letter addressed to ‘Dear Waugh’. More a case of ‘oh dear’.

At first glance this isn’t the world’s biggest mistake. You could take the position that someone has merely failed to include a ‘Mr’ in there, or even my first name. So what?

Well, to me, it sends all of the wrong messages. Someone was so slapdash that before sending out this mass mail they either didn’t check the sending database was clean and properly formatted or they couldn’t be bothered to check the quality of the output. Or both.

But is this really worthy of a blog-based rant? Well, it wasn’t only that single detail that turned me off this company straight away. The letter was one side of A4. It was covered in the usual accreditation marks and branding that you would expect to see on a big firm’s letterhead. The odd thing was, it made its pitch and then just ended.

There was no name of the person who had sent it. No ‘thank you for your time’ or ‘we hope to hear from you’. No signature. It just stopped. I turned it over, expecting it to finish with the niceties on the reverse. Nope.

So they couldn’t be bothered to get my name produced correctly and they didn’t want to tell me who was trying to talk to me. You probably can’t get more impersonal than that. You can even extrapolate from this that it wasn’t just an error by a mailing house that the company in question shouldn’t be blamed for. They produced the letter they didn’t sign and apparently that was okay with them.

Possibly the worst aspect of this is that it was a high-end business services company. I certainly wouldn’t want it representing my interests in that fashion.

It’s always good to finish these things with a moral and I’m pretty sure you can see this one coming from a mile away…

It’s ALL about the details. They’ve wasted entirely their huge marketing spend because now I simply don’t like them. I wouldn’t trust them and I wasn’t made to feel that they even knew my name.

Simply; don’t make the same mistakes. Checking a document and considering how you would feel about receiving it is a pretty simple thing to do. This is a world dominated by impersonal, big business and many people don’t like that. This lot were simply confirming their place in those faceless ranks and had spent many thousands of pounds to do so.

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