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Spring letters

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by The landscaper, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    I will be sending out my spring letters here real soon. Does it seem to impersonal to put dear customer, rather than the individual names?
  2. iowa

    iowa LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW IA
    Messages: 305

    Put their name. To me, customer just makes them think they are a number.
  3. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Thats what I did last year.

    After adding customers, it gets to be a project. I do agree though, it looks and sounds much better.
  4. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Put their name. We have all our customers and addresses in an Excel spreadsheet, so when it's time to do a mass mailing we just write our letter in Word and do a mail merge. It takes about 30 extra seconds longer than it would take to write "Dear Customer." It also makes printing the envelopes really easy, since we can mail merge those as well.

    Even the pre-approved credit card offers we receive in the mail use our names on the letter, and we certainly want to appear more personal than them!
  5. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    How do you do the mail merge? I remember doing it in high school but can't remember now.
  6. ZaK18

    ZaK18 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    Its not to impersonal not to put there name on the letter...Its alot of work on your part...and your customers will not care...Its not like they will drop your service because you didnt.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    What I do, is I type up a letter, leaving out the name, location and price.

    Then, as I go through, I just change the name, location and price for each one, and save it as "JoeSmith.pub" or whatever your publication program is, Word, Publisher, whatever.

    Then it's already saved with their name, so from year to year, I just change the dates the agreement is in effect, and the price, if it changes, and print it off.

    Since they're all basically a form letter, you know from each one where the name / location / price is, so you're not reading each letter trying to figure out where you need to change the information.
  8. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    It's really simple. Save your excel spreadsheet under whatever name you want to use. Then open up Word (this may vary based on whatever version of Word you're using - we have 2002).

    Under the "Tools" menu select "Letters and Mailings" - then "Mail Merge Wizard."

    It will then guide you through your letter (or envelope). The first step is to select what you're writing, in this case, a letter.

    It will ask you if you want to use the current document, an existing document, or a template. If you already have your letters written, select "existing document" and pull up your spring letter.

    Then it will ask you to select recipients. You want to have "use an existing list" selected, and then click "browse." The screen that automatically pops up with mine asks if you want to connect to an SQL data source - you don't. Instead, just ignore that, and go into wherever you keep your excel files, and pick the file with your customer info in it.

    Once you select it, it will let you select your recipients. If it's a letter going to all of your customers, you don't really need to mess with that - just click "OK."

    At the bottom click "write your letter." This is where it allows you to insert items from your excel sheet into the word document. I ignore all their suggestions (address block, greeting line, etc.) and just click "more items" to pick categories off my sheet. It will insert that field into the document where you select.

    Then you can preview your letters to make sure everything worked right. If not, go back and make changes.

    Then you're good to print!

    It really doesn't take that long to do, just takes a while to type out. And once your document is linked, the link is permanent - you don't need to do this every time you send out your spring letter, just update your Excel spreadsheet with new customers, and then your letter is pretty much done for you.
  9. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    I always put their name. I know that I trash any letter that says "dear customer/valued client" or such. If I am so valued, than why did they not write my name?
    People appreciate a personal salutation.
  10. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Frickin mail merge is killing me. I can't seem to get it to work. I connect my letter to my excel document but it still doesnt put my names in. It just comes up dear sir or madom

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