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.