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Manipulative Marketing Corner: "It Looks Important and Urgent"

Manipulative Marketing Corner: "It Looks Important and Urgent"

April 25, 2008

Creative or Deceptive? You decide ...

The desire to increase sales often leads us into some very gray areas where there doesn't always seem to be a clear right or wrong answer. I tackle a dilemma each month and then I want to hear what you would do.

From last month: You didn't get my letter?

Every now and then you may get an email or phone call from someone telling you that you were sent a letter or fax but there was no response from you. The marketer claims he's so concerned that he didn't hear from you that he was following up to make sure you saw the terrific opportunity he had sent earlier. Here's the issue: The initial fax or letter was never sent at all. The marketer wants you to feel like you missed a great opportunity and figures you'll be more likely to respond to an offer you 'missed,' especially if you're asking to receive the 'original' promotion. Imagine having your prospects asking you to send a promotion to them.

My take: Deceptive.

This marketing ploy probably will increase response but you never want to lie or be deceitful with your prospects. Treat your prospects and customers the same way you would treat a friend or family member.

Remember, you want to develop a relationship with your customers and you want them to trust you for your products and services. How can they trust you if you're starting the relationship with deceit and dishonesty?

This is no way to do business -- no matter how effective it may be. Instead, send the letter or fax and then if you don't get a response follow up by phone or email (assuming they requested to receive offers by email!) If it was so successful without the initial letter, it should be just as effective running the promotion honestly.

This month's dilemma: It looks important and urgent

I'm sure you've received an envelope that looks like it was sent overnight and is labeled 'Priority Direct: Rush Delivery' or 'Next Day Priority Express.' You know it's probably not an overnight delivery but you feel compelled to open it anyway. Within a few seconds you learn that just as you expected, it's a marketing piece.

What do you think? Creative or deceptive? Send me an email and let me know what you think at JonGoldman@BrandLauncher.com.