How to Sign Mail Merge Letters

A financial planner sent me a letter that went into the trash the instant I opened it…without even blinking. Here’s why:

  • The letter was typed using the Comic Sans typeface. The typeface you select for your business correspondence should reflect the type of business you’re in. If you’re running a daycare center, a playful font like Comic Sans would be appropriate, but not for a financial planner who wants to be taken seriously.

  • She started the letter using “Dear Peggy.” Since I don’t know her, the planner should have addressed the letter with “Dear Ms. Duncan.” If we had met in passing or had talked on the phone at least once, or had our paths crossed at all, Dear Peggy would have been OK.

  • The signature was wrong. Real wrong. The financial planner was asking for my business and sent me a letter with a TYPED SIGNATURE! She didn’t even bother to sign her name! Never do this…regardless of how fancy the typeface is!

If you’re sending someone a form letter that you’re creating using mail merge, or you’re having something printed requiring your signature, do this instead of typing your signature:

  1. Sign your name as you normally would on a blank sheet of paper using a fluid writing instrument so the signature will be smooth and solid.

  2. Take a digital picture or scan it (if you need to scan and don’t have a scanner, someone you know does or perhaps your local office supply store or copy center…don’t buy one because you’ll probably rarely use it).

  3. Save your scanned signature as a graphic as you would any item. (I also saved this graphic as an AutoText entry in Word so anytime I need it, I type the name I gave it and press F3.)

  4. Create your mail merge letter as you normally would, and insert the graphic signature into the letter where you would normally sign it. Resize the graphic if you need to.

  5. Run your mail merge. Your original-looking signature will print out on every letter.

Direct mail experts say that a signature signed in blue ink has a better response rate (I don’t remember why but I think it’s to show it’s an original). So if you’re sending out a direct mail letter and you have a color printer, sign your name in blue ink and scan using the color option.

Peggy Duncan, Time Management Expert

1 Comment

  1. i think Whether you're mailing thousands of letters or just 50, Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office Publisher have tools to ease

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