Company Apologizes, Hilariously, For Mail Merge Screwup

Everyone knows that the “personal touch” of using your name in an email, printed letter, or CSR call is powered by a database and a computer, and not really personal at all. Still, when a company gets it wrong it can be annoying. When a company gets it wrong, then apologizes by sending a follow-up message that makes you smile, all can be forgiven.

Poll Everywhere screwed up their mail merge and sent out a personalized “it was great seeing you!” email to *|FNAME|*, aka Jose. He wrote back and pointed out that he hasn’t answered to *|FNAME|* since, well, ever.

The response he got back from Poll Everywhere‘s CEO was:

Hi Jose,

Just wanted to apologize and say that we know your name is not *FNAME* :) Oops.

We’re so bad at this spamming thing… We don’t even know how to do a proper mail merge!

Jeff

Even better, compare the before and after opt-out notices from the bottom of Poll Everywhere’s emails:

BEFORE
We’re emailing because you signed up for an account at Poll Everywhere as *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|*. We send really short news like this about twice per year. If this bugs, you can unsubscribe. We understand.

AFTER
We’re emailing (and poorly, at that) because you signed up for an account at Poll Everywhere as Jose Castillo. We send really short news like this about twice per year, and we usually know how to use “technologies” like “mail merge”. If this bugs you and you don’t like being referred to as *|FNAME|*, you can unsubscribe, because we totally *|COMPASSION_WORD|*.

Nicely done, Poll Everywhere! You took the snarkiness out of our mouths, and now we feel compelled to like you. As far as Jose is concerned, “Thanks to Jeff and the folks at PollEverywhere for being human beings and having some fun at their own expense. I will use them again.”

“Screw Up, Say You’re Sorry, Be Funny, Win Over Your Customers” [think jose] (Thanks to Anthony!)