When setting up new installations of GoldMine, conducting training, or simply helping users with email templates, we are regularly asked how best to use the Dear field. During the early years of GoldMine, when printing letters was common and introductions were more formal, this field was traditionally used to store values such as Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc. However, in today’s environment, very few customers print letters and most exchanges are informal, preferring “Dear John” or even “Hi John”, over “Dear Mr. Smith”.
As a result, many customers have opted to use the Dear field as the First Name field, or as with our AdmitGold customers, the field is relabeled as Prefers. When this is needed, we will often use the lookup.ini to push the first name into the fields and it a can be manually changed as needed. Therefore, on a record where Contact = “William Johnson”, the lookup.ini would push “William” into the Dear field. If applicable, someone can change it to read “Bill” if that’s what William prefers to be called.
With that in place, e-mail templates and/or letters can use merge code variables such as “Dear <<&dear>>,” in the salutation/greeting of the template. If all of your correspondence is formal, you can use the traditional method. If all of your correspondence is informal, then the example just described will do the work nicely. But what if you have a fairly heavy mix? Using our AdmitGold customers as the example, for prospective students you might want your e-mails to read “Dear Bill”. However, for many of the institution customers, “Dear Dr. Smith” would be more appropriate. Yes, you can always type “Dr. Smith” into the DEAR field but here’s an easier and more accurate way to handle that. You can add the following items to the lookup of the DEAR field:
AdmitGold customers should use the ones on the right as we are using the LASTNAME field for Last, First.
Now, when you choose an item from the list, GoldMine will overwrite or populate the DEAR field to show the formal salutation.
That’s all there is to it!
Enjoy and Happy GoldMining!!