I hate when companies try to trick me with idiotic direct mail campaigns

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Last week, I made myself dumber by reading this piece of mail sent to me from Time Warner Cable.

time-warner-cable-direct-mail

time-warner-cable-direct-mail-campaign

“ALERT!”

“RESPONSE NEEDED WITHIN 25 DAYS!”

“IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED!”

It’s as if Time Warner Cable forgot that I graduated from 8th grade.

One of my favorite lines on this horrifying piece of trash is the teeny tiny text on the back of the card that reads: “Savings based on Double Play rate versus individual services’ regular monthly rates in the first year.” What does this even mean? What is a Double Play rate?

Why does Time Warner Cable do this? The sad answer is that it must work. A letter like this must scare enough people into opening and calling to justify the price of printing and mailing it to me.

But, it doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t make it smart.

Every time a brand talks to me like I’m an idiot, I lose respect for that brand. I want to spend my money with brands that communicate to me like I’m a smart consumer. Because I am.

This is the type of marketing that you do when you want to take shortcuts. This is the type of marketing that you do when the only result that matters is the subscriber count for that quarter. This is the type of marketing that you do when you lack both imagination and strategic vision.

It’s unapologetically pathetic.

Editor’s note: Time Warner Cable declined to comment for this article.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).