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True Story: The Mail Campaign

This is a true story. Some years ago, a client engaged a consultant to help with a small postal mailing campaign to the purchasing departments of blue-chip corporations. The consultant sourced the list, which was provided in Microsoft Excel, and drafted the letter. Thereafter, the client was keen to take control of the project. So run the mail merge and the completion of the campaign, basically printing, envelope-stuffing and mailing.

The consultant discovered some weeks later that a junior member of the client's marketing department had sorted the list. They’d changed the order of the listed organisations in the spreadsheet, but had sorted the company name column only, instead of all columns, with the result that every letter (about 500) was addressed and sent to a blue-chip corporation at another entirely different corporation's address.

Interestingly, the mail campaign produced a particularly high response. When investigated it seemed to stem from the fact that an unusually high percentage of letters were opened and read, due apparently to the irresistible temptation of reading another corporation's mail...

If you think you’ve made a mistake, wait and see what the end result is. You never know what you might learn or what new insights you may gather.

Something to think about...

"Mistakes are the portals of discovery."

- James Joyce


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