(photo credit: US Mail by Steve Johnson on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)
Did somebody tear up the DO NOT CALL list?
A few years ago, I signed up to be on the list, so I wouldn’t receive marketing calls, and for the most part the calls stopped.
But in the last nine months, they’ve been coming in five or six a day. Instead of waiting for the voicemail to pick up, if I’m near a phone, I turn it on and then off again without ever putting the receiver to my ear. It’s inefficient but it’s better than listening to it ring over and again, all day long, and I don’t have to listen to the sales pitch or feel guilty about hanging up on a person. One day, I’ll sign my name to the list again and hope it sticks this time.
The smarter marketers have figured out that if you want to get a homeowner’s attention, send them a hand-addressed envelope with an actual stamp on it. They’ll think it’s a personal letter and open it up.
Which is what I did today only to find a printed flyer that began this way, “Do you hear but not understand? Do people seem to mumble, especially in noise? Do you have difficulty understanding the television?”
If the company named on the letter believes I will ever use their services, they are sadly mistaken. Even if I did need hearing aids, I would refuse to go to them, and they are located less than a mile from my house.
My reasoning: They tricked me and then they insulted me.
So first they trick me into opening the letter. The handwriting on the envelope was lovely but imperfect, clearly in ink. I pulled the envelope out of the pile of mail and actually thought about who might be writing to me, since nobody writes letters anymore. For a moment, I felt special.
Then I opened the letter and they play on my weaknesses. I just turned 50. I’m trying to see the bright side of aging. And they remind me that I may lose my hearing sometime soon. That I may have already lost some of it since sometimes it DOES sound like other people are mumbling.
Those savvy marketers made me feel stupid and old. I don’t like feeling stupid and old. And making me feel that way is not good for their business.
I will still go through my mail every day hopeful that one of the letters will be something other than a bill or mass marketing. I still will open hand-addressed envelopes with anticipation.
And if I find other marketing letters inside those hand-addressed envelopes, I will make note of the company name on the letter and put them on my DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH list. Which I’m willing to share.
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