Corporate America

“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.

Corporate America

HP’s board and CEO just don’t get it

It would be hard not to know about the troubles at Hewlett-Packard (HP) these days.

If you’ve not seen it, you can see the result here (opens in a new window):

HP C-level executives…board members, ie: corporate officers, invaded (and/or had others do so) the privacy of employees, reporters and others by digging into their home phone records and more.

You had to expect there to be some fallout and eventually, someone would resign and make kissy face and everything would be fine. Well, that’s exactly what has happened.

Dunn resigns her board chair, but amazingly (ok, given today’s ethical standards, not really surprising) she STAYS ON THE BOARD. Excuse me, but if you have a conniving weasel for a board chair, and you are (presumably) asking for her resignation because of her actions, why in the world is it ok to leave that kind of person on the board???


Later, the guy who was accused of making the leaks also left the board.

Don’t get me wrong, leaks like this need to be stopped – with a termination – and in my mind, that includes the same kinds of leaks in Washington. But to as much as say to your employees and management (much less vendors, the press and anyone else) that their privacy is of no concern to HP senior management by keeping Dunn on the board is just astounding.

Thorns to HP for keeping her and another thorn for allowing her to resign. Let her save face somewhere else. Hurd, you should have had the cojones to fire her. I know, I know, you’re scared of a wrongful termination lawsuit. I thought you got to the CEO position by having a backbone, but I guess I was wrong.

Corporate America

Radio Shack


300+ Layoffs via email. What do you expect from a company that hires a new CEO to turn them around…and gets him from that well-known turnaround story…..KMART? Oh and Kmart got him from Sears, another retail masterpiece.
Radio Shack blames their recent poor performance (85% drop in quarterly profits) on “poor sales of wireless phones”.

How about blaming them on the real reasons: Forgetting who their customer is. Moving into a commodity business (cell phones). Stopping the collection of customer addresses and the resulting mailings that regular customers appreciated and looked forward to. On and on and on.