Today I received this email from the DMA about its 2009 awards.
Junk Mail? Spam? Call it what you will, definitely a case of practise what you preach (or should) – At least they got the imagery right.
Perhaps my forename and surname fields were corrupt in their database, perhaps I did not even supply them (why wasn’t there a data entry rule that ensured that these were mandatory fields?)
Anyway, lets say they did not have my name for some reason. If the data/CRM guys were clever enough, they would have seen that my email address (blanked out) is structured as “firstname.lastname@example.org”, a very common structure to business email addresses. Therefore the name fields can be populated given some QCing and validation.
Now perhaps they did not feel that they had the man power to scan the data and see this pattern (always worth doing – no matter how large the dataset) and consequently validate the data through some communications to cleanse their database. So why not set up a business rule, where if the forename and surname fields are blank, omit the “Dear <Name>” personalisation aspect to stop looking stupid in front of the whole industry that the DMA preaches too.
From data we gain intelligence and insight… apparently.