Tag Archives: personalization

One sure-fire way to alienate your customer

I received an email yesterday with the greeting, “Dear Valued Customer.”

This came from a vendor advertising their new Summer/Fall Catalogue. Less than a month ago, I registered on this vendor’s website – gave them my name, address, phone, company name – everything but my blood type. I talked to the President of the company on the phone. We made an appointment to talk about buying their product in December. And yet a few weeks later my new best friends write …

Dear Valued Customer!

Really?!

This was a good reminder to me of how crucial it is in fundraising to personalize your message. Customer or donor – it’s all about relationship, relationship, relationship.

The only thing worse than a Dear Friend letter is spelling the name wrong. A certain publication that shall remain nameless (but to which most of us in development subscribe) has just started emailing me with the greeting “Dear Connie.” I’m fascinated. I can’t wait to see how long they keep this up.

Your donors or customers want to feel that you know them, your business matters to them and you would miss them if they were gone.

Here are 3 easy ways to personalize your message and retain your donor:

  1. Mail merge your solicitation whether it is a letter or email. Technology exists out there to help you with this. Your printer can personalize your mailing. E-mail marketing firms personalize your emails to your donors.
  2. Use your database to its full potential. Do random checks to make certain that you have the correct names in the correct places.  Keep a record of all contact with your donor and enter notes into the database.
  3. Expand the personalization. Find ways to use a personal touch. In letters to your donors, mention a last gift. In reports to them, tell them what impact their donation made. When you call to thank them for their gifts, reference your last conversation.

Finally, when you email or text your donor or customer – don’t call her Connie if her name is Jolynn. It’s just too easy for her to hit the delete button.