Thursday, February 22, 2007

More Martha Mail

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I'd received an unnecessarily nasty letter from Blueprint, a magazine that's part of the Martha Stewart group. I recently received this letter from Martha Stewart Living, asking me to renew my gift subscription.

The tone (and visual style) is completely different.

"Dear Friend,
I just spotted your name on a gift subscription list marked “expired.” Perhaps we’re being a bit sentimental. But to us, you’re more than just a subscriber. You’re a vital part of the MARTHA STEWART LIVING family."

So to begin, they call me "friend" and use the word "family." Next they tell me how smart I am to be receiving MSL, and congratulate me for helping them become successful.

"... It’s the special qualities within you, your eye for beauty, your quest for quality living, your devotion to home and family, that has provided the ground for MARTHA STEWART LIVING to grow...."

Note the friendly language that also implies needed action on my part without being pushy:
"So naturally, we’d hate to see your subscription expire. And that’s going to happen if we don’t receive your renewal instructions shortly."

Then they list specific things I would miss if I let the subscription expire:
"That means an end to all the marvelous recipes... gardening know-how... decorating tips... But if you act now, you don’t have to miss a bit of it."

Night and day from the Blueprint letter, both from the same company.

Tip of the day: Creating a consistent voice for your company or organization is critical in customer communication. You can communicate urgency while still being polite. And it helps to list benefits for people to encourage them to act in your favor.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Well, with this one they were trying to cajole you into re-subscribing, which you have no obligation to do. But with the other one, however unfairly, they were thinking of you as someone who owed them money and was ignoring them. (And, to be fair, most free-trial offers do require you to take some action to cancel in order to be free of obligation. In the future, you might want to be a little more suspicious and read all the caveats before accepting anything for "free".)

    Personally, while I would certainly be riled by the rude letter you got about Blueprint, this letter would simply invite my derision. Corporations don't have friends or families, and there is no actual human anywhere who is genuinely going to feel a pang of sadness if I don't re-up. They want my twelve dollars, that's it. We all know it. Why the "we love you!" charade? I find it insulting.