Most of what shows up in our snail mail box is junk, bills, or magazines. However, once in a while something shows up which just compels me to share it. That happened the other day with the arrival of a “Rush Priority Express Letter.” It had to be important since it commanded the USPS to “Rush To Addressee” because it’s “Extremely Important.” Of course the colors of this missive are red, white and blue and there’s a picture of what appears to be an eagle (ornithology not a specialty here). OMG! OMG! And a business lesson too!
Turns out this isn’t an official US Postal envelope (ORLY??) but is from a company called ResponseMail. Obviously, it works – I opened it, which is a huge part of the direct mail battle. So this isn’t a rant about them although a return address would be nice. Of course, then I might not want to open the document – I suspect curiosity is a big piece of getting folks to open it. However, once I did, I realized that a return address would have had me ignoring the obnoxiously designed package (I know you’re not the Government and I know this isn’t official so why try to confuse me?) to get to the letter inside ASAP.
Yes, it was a golf offer. It was from Warrior Custom Golf. Now if you’ve read this screed for more than a few posts you’re aware that golf is one of my big obsessions. Since they must have got my info from some golf mailing list someplace, and proper targeting is a key to all media including direct mail, why hide that it’s golf? I’m in! Let’s read this puppy, especially if it can help my game.
So here comes the lesson. First, Warrior Custom Golf is well-known in many serious golf circles as a company that gets you to give them your credit card so they can send you clubs on spec. You try them and return them if you don’t like them. However, they ding your card for the full amount immediately and you then have to wait to get the amount credited back. One wonders what money they’re making on the “float”. But let’s hear from a typical post about them:
Evidently, if you try to return the club, you must go through a rigorous episode of Warrior trying to barter with you for the club, offering to let you demo a later, better model for even more money, or offering you more free clubs if you buy the first one. If you somehow get them to agree to refund all of your money, you send the clubs back. They then pretend they never received them, and your money isn’t returned until you call back several more times and complain.
So there’s no chance I”m falling for this. But here’s the kicker: the letter was addressed to my eldest daughter who, to my knowledge, hasn’t had a golf club in her hands for 15 years although the letter identifies her because “our records indicate that you’re a recreational golfer that has played consistently enough over a long enough period of time to accurately evaluate new golf club technology.” Yikes!
So to the folks at Warrior: if you’re not honest enough to tell me upfront that it’s you who is trying to contact me and not some government agency, I’m not interested. If the reports about you from my fellow golfers which this Internet thing lets me check out don’t like you, I’m not interested. If the letter lies and says that you’ve identified the recipient as a person who would can use your product when there’s no chance that’s true, I’m not interested. And if you’re marketing is so sloppy that you can’t figure out that the guy who plays 100 rounds a year is your target and not the young lady who thinks a hybrid 4 is a kind of car, I’m not interested.