My god, a BI ezine I’ve actually read
Posted on May 12, 2008
So many ezines, so many pitches, so much color, so much urgency, so much of so much. And then along comes—let me check the name—yes, Gordon Daly with a little ezine that’s nothing but a short letter (look it up: letter!) and I actually read it.
I can’t explain. I don’t know what happens. It’s black on white with something colorful but not too big at the top. There are a couple of links in the second paragraph and below but not too many.
Today’s is the second one. I read the first one, too, but I brushed it off. A fluke, I said. Then I read today’s. Not a fluke. The guy has something. What is it?
He’s pitching for DataMentors. His signature identifies him as the director of marketing.
He writes simply with a hint of a story. No jargon meant to impress me (which just annoys me). No vague phrases that could apply to anything, anywhere.
Here’s yesterday’s first sentence: “If your database keeps adding the same customer records over and over again, it may be suffering from a severe technology affliction called Datadupitis (dā-tə-düp-ī-təs).” That’s funny. Not a side-splitter, but it works. It’s also a tiny surprise, just enough.
Next sentence: “The fundamental problem: your database(s) isn’t recognizing your customers.” I take off a half point for the “s” in parentheses, but I give him a full two points for getting me to read the second sentence. This is new territory.
Third sentence: “That’s a customer service wreck just waiting to happen. So, how can you expect to possibly develop a profitable relationship with them?” I get goosebumps just having read any ezine’s third sentence. More goosebumps for the simple writing.
Let me reveal something here. I don’t have anything like the problem he’s describing. I have FileMaker, and I enter everything by hand. Yet I’ve come all the way to the third sentence.
The fourth sentence gives me chills it’s so short, so simple. “A database is a wonderful thing.” Yes!! Not that a database is a wonderful thing. Sure, fine. It’s the simplicity!
Compare his opening with those of three other BI-related ezines I chose at random (and haven’t even opened before now):
- Ezine #1: Headline: “Improve Business Performance with an Open Business Intelligence (BI) Model.” Body: “A collaborative reporting architecture encourages participation across user and producer communities and fosters an iterative report development process which speeds development and adoption of the reporting application” and blah, blah, blah.
- Ezine #2: Straight to the body: “The scale and pace of today’s business change is challenging us all to do more – better, faster and with greater efficiency.”
- Ezine #3: A big, graphic headline reads, “Whitepaper of the day,” followed by a thick horizontal ad. The whitepaper’s title: “Optimizing Data Content To Improve Marketing Performance,” followed by, “The traditional data industry has not seen true innovation in decade [sic].”
- Ezine #4: Under the ezine’s name and issue number, it begins, “View these Online Events recently held on xxxx.com” followed by bullet points: “Executive Command & Control: Governance of Risk, Performance Assurance & Operational Excellence; Project Risk – Why are 50% of IT projects still failing; Improving Operational Efficiency and Business Performance in Midsize Retailers…”
Nothing concrete, no hint of a story, no surprises. They waste their bytes on me.
Good job, Gordon Daly.