Designing Salutations in Access


S

Sandy

Help with best practice for salutations please.

Our Access database is set up with a record for each individual contact and
each contact assigned to at least one household, even if they are the only
person in the household. The households generally consist of husband and
wife or a single individual. But we do have the option to assign an
individual to more than one household; for example, a son with POA could be
assigned to his mother’s household as well as one with his wife. Address is
assigned to the household, not the individual. Gender is assigned to the
individual. Spouses are identified.

We are struggling with what is best to do with all of the required
salutations. We mostly mail to households, but we also mail to individuals
based on gender, giving history, interests, etc.

Our first option is to set the salutations with the individual. Our list
will include household formal (Mr. and Mrs. Smith), informal (Jane and John)
and CEO special (Janey and Spur) and individual formal (Mrs. Smith) and CEO
special (Janey). The 3 household salutations would be duplicated for any
existing household partner but both partners would have his/her own
individual salutations. This is 5 salutations per person. We would then use
grouping and sorting to limit the mailings to one per household and select
the specific household salutation for that particular household mailing.

The other option would be to put the 3 household salutations under the
household (we have a separate address salutation already attached to the
household so that is not an issue) and the individual salutations with the
individual record.

What we need to know is which of the options is considered best practice by
the community and why. We are really torn with this issue and would
appreciate hearing your thoughts on and experience with either or both
options.
 
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F

Fred

From your description it's clear that your thought process is already very
well developed on this. Presumably you already have multiple linked tables
to store people and households. And your approach is already more thorough
than most, with a clear recognition of the difference between individuals and
households. A database purist would say that you still have more rules to
make up & implement for yourself (like how do you do a household-level
address for a household with many unrelated people etc.. And the purest DB
abswer would be to start with storing only only that which can't be derived
at the time of use. For example, if you have already recorded that John
Smith is married, you can automatically derive a formal salutaiton by
concentating "Mr." with his last name, and thus don't store the word "Mr."
with each of them. And then store or associate names with their type of
data elements (individual salutations with people tables, and household
salutations with household tables.

Somewhere along the way such thoroughness (especially in aquiring and
entering all of that special stuff) is going to hit a point of overkill.
Do deal with that, I would suggest defining your mission and letting that
drive your process. Including simplifications / imperfections where your
plan occasionaly blows it. For example to do a mass mailing to a huge
list, the standard is pretty low regarding salutations. If it's a small
list of people/households that are each very important to you and will get
impressed or offended by how well you handle salutaitons, that would be at
the other "do it perfect" end of the spectrum.
 
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S

Sandy

Fred Your answer is very helpful. Thank you very much. We will follow your
advice and finish thinking this out.
 

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