The mystery of the multiple mailings
My partner keeps getting expensive glossy mailings from a national nonprofit. He made one modest gift, $20 or $30, to this organization several years ago. Now they are sending him all kinds of mailings, including a heavy rotation of planned giving mailings. We probably get something monthly or even more frequently. After the 10th or so piece, I started trying to figure out why. One-time donor, small amount, no other involvement with this organization, several years ago...why?
I finally figured it out. Here's a hint: my sweetie's name is Robert Thompson.
He has the kind of name that is the bane of prospect researchers. Discerning among the thousands of Robert Thompsons in the U.S. can be a challenging task. (On the flip side, it is a challenge for Robert Thompsons to distinguish themselves, especially online. Luckily for my honey, his parents gave him two middle names, making him the distinctively-named Robert JL Thompson.)
Back to the mystery of the multiple mailings... My guess is this organization did a wealth screening, loaded the results into their database, and started segmenting their mailings accordingly. Not a bad strategy, but one that impacts the Jane Smiths, Mary Johnsons, and Thomas Joneses of the world. Because these names are so common, a lot of false positives show up. For example, maybe it looks like my guy owns a really nice home and is an insider at a public company. This is a far cry from the unemployed graduate student that he is. But there is some Robert Thompson somewhere who does own this nice house and oodles of stock. And maybe the well-off Robert even lives close to us, creating a match on first name, last name and geographic area, which would be perfectly acceptable as a matching criteria for someone named Angus McUniquename.
Readers, what do you think? Was it the false positive of a wealth screening that got my partner on this list? Or does this organization just mail indiscriminately to its entire database? Or...?