It’s someone who screwed up the merge fields in their template. It means the email is being sent to a huge list of people, and whatever software is being used is supposed to pull names from a spreadsheet and “merge” them in place of the “(first name)” placeholder, but something got messed up.

Regardless… yes… it’s a clear indication that the email is junk and can be ignored.

Aaron Dinin, PhD

I teach entrepreneurship at Duke. Software Engineer. PhD in English. I write about the mistakes entrepreneurs make since I’ve made plenty. More @