Mass personalization is a trap
Dear seth ,
Of course I could have sent you a personal letter. A direct 1:1 connection between you and me, thanking you for what you did, or letting you know about my new project, or asking for your attention.
Instead, I'm going to hire someone to hand write the envelope in marker, but of course, I'm too busy to do that myself.
And I'll use the latest in digital handwriting fonts to make you think I actually wrote the note. But I'm not careful or caring enough to actually put good data into the mailmerge, so it'll only take you a second to realize that I faked it.
I know that I'm asking you to spend hours on the favor I'm asking, but no, I couldn't be bothered to spend three minutes to ask you.
There's an uncanny valley here, that uncomfortable feeling we get when we know we're being played, when someone mass customizes and tries to steal the value of actual person-to-person connection.
It's a trap because the more you do it, the more you need to do it. Once you start burning trust, the only way to keep up is to burn more trust… it's a bit like throwing the walls of your house in the fireplace to stay warm.
Don't waste your time and money on this. You're wasting the most valuable thing you own–trust.
Humanity is too valuable to try to steal with a laser printer.