“Dear Valued Customer”

Delta, Delta, Delta. Your DNS was such a great idea. Did you forget a mail merge feature?

I received a “personal” email from Delta today. It started off like this:

Dear Valued Customer,

On behalf of the hundreds of Delta Global Sales professionals dedicated to serving you and your travelers worldwide, “Thank You!” for choosing Delta as your preferred airline

Are you kidding me?

Tell me, if your business relationship is truly valued by a business’s owner, would they DREAM of sending an email or letter to you that starts off as “Dear Valued Customer”

Let’s refocus this for a moment. I can just guess what Jeffrey Gitomer would say if he and I were talking about this. Jeff’d probably say something like: “If you were feeling romantic and rolled over toward your wife, would you say ‘Dear Valued Woman Next To Me’? Yeah, right.” If you were dumb enough to do that, would you expect a positive, romantically-inclined response? Not likely.

Here’s a company that is sending me an email because I am part of a program they run. They have my full name, phone, frequent flier #, address, fax, cell and they know where I fly and how often (if they pay attention).

Despite all this, they send me an email that says “Dear Valued Customer”.

If that was my name, it’d be ok. It’s not and it isnt.

How about “Dear faceless, nameless member of our customer herd whose wallet we so adore while caring little about he who carries it”?

That’s one interpretation of the message it sends. Im sure you can think of others. More importantly perhaps is the activity a greeting like that causes: PRESSING THE DELETE KEY.

Did they accomplish the goal of the email by sending me something addressed like that? I doubt it. In fact, I’ll bet that the majority of the people who received it didnt get past the first paragraph.

Remember, the goal is not to SEND the email, or DELIVER the email, though these things are certainly important. The goal of your email, or your direct mail, or your billboard (etc) is to get someone to READ it and take ACTION. Someone forgot about that.

3 thoughts on ““Dear Valued Customer””

  1. Another email from Delta today. Perhaps someone in Atlanta is reading my blog… 🙂

    Today’s email starts like this:

    “Hello Mr. Riffey,

    As 2006 comes to a close, we want to say “Thank You!” for choosing Delta and honoring us with numerous industry awards based on your high marks. “

    Now, I dont know if someone from Delta saw the original post or not, but at least someone there is paying attention to the fact that they actually have my name in their records and are capable of personalizing a message.

    I feel much better, now that Im not “Valued Customer”.

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