As those of you who receive our newsletter know, we had a little glitch this week. The newsletter greeted readers with “Dear (Contact First Name)”, when of course it should have given the reader’s first name rather than the parenthesized stuff.
Immediately–given the 14,000+ good testers who read our newsletter–we received many reports of the defect. A massive self-head-smack and “Doh!” action (a la Homer Simpson) ensued at the RBCS mothership. We promptly issued a 20% discount code to our readers as a way of apologizing for–well, someone forgetting their names.
So, who forgot their names? We use ConstantContact for our e-mail, so one logical explanation is a bug in ConstantContact’s mail merge code. We suspect that is the cause, because a test e-mail sent to Laurel Becker, RBCS VP, included the “Dear Laurel” string, but in the wrong place.
That said, there’s the “never attribute to malice that which can be explained by human error” angle to this. Did we accidentally mangle the newsletter template in a way that overrode the mail merge function? It’s certainly a possibility, and we can’t tell from the source newsletter whether that is the case. This is a bug in ConstantContact’s editing tool, because it’s possible to damage these mail merge keywords in such a way that you can’t see the mistake in either the source letter or the test copies.
So, the conclusion at this end is: It’s a mystery. We apologize to our readers again for appearing to have forgotten their names. We’ll keep an eye on this for future newsletters.
In the meantime, this is…uh, yeah, Rex, that’s right…Rex here reporting a possible bug…or just an inattentive copy-paste action somewhere in the process.