People have been receiving mailers advertising a free three-day vacation to San Diego, including hotel room and SeaWorld tickets. In fact, the letter included what appeared to be a check from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. What these notices don’t mention is that you need to attend a 90-minute sales pitch, and more importantly that SeaWorld has nothing to do with the promotion. [More]
It takes a while, but eventually the universe catches up with you and punishes you for your misdeeds. Maybe. In a previous job, Kevin designed direct mail for AT&T. Now he just gets an awful lot of it. [More]
Proponent Of Costing Banks More Money By Mailing Back Weighted Business Reply Envelopes Defends His Cause
Earlier this week I wrote about a viral video that promised you could “Keep Wall Street Occupied” by sending back credit card business reply envelopes stuffed with anti-corporate messages and wooden shims. The video said this would increase mailing costs for the banks and force them to engage in a dialogue with their customers. Responding to my review where I called this idea “terrible,” the video’s maker sent me a note defending his campaign. [More]
Sending Back Protest Messages In Pre-Paid Credit Card Envelopes Isn't Going To Occupy Wall Street One Bit
A YouTube video has racked up over 300,000 hits promoting the idea that you can really mess with the banks by sending back activist messages in those pre-paid response envelopes that come with the credit card junk mail. The theory is that if enough people do it, it will force people in the bank mailrooms to have a meeting about all these Occupy Wall Street slogans showing up in their mail, and making banks engage in a dialogue with their customers, revolutionizing how they operate to a way that’s more responsive to the common good. This is a terrible idea and a waste of time. [More]
Last week, Jon wrote to us asking how he can help protect his grandmother from falling for any more direct mail scams. She’d answered a piece from psychic Maria Duval, and subsequently her mailing address was sold to all sorts of scammers who thrive on easy marks. We suggested filing a prohibitory order via the USPS, but the core problem remains: how do you convince someone who wants to believe in psychics that she’s being lied to? [More]
Thanks to e-mail and online bill payments, mailboxes are a lot less personal than they used to be. According to WalletPop, each week, the average American receives 1.5 pieces of mail they might actually be interested in (yes, including bills), but 16 pieces of junk mail. Evidently, “OCCUPANT” is a pretty popular guy. But when unwanted solicitations are 90% of what’s in our mailboxes, why do they keep on coming? How can you make them stop? [More]
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty wants direct mail marketers to stop sending out those “free money!” checks that auto-enroll you in expensive programs when you deposit them, while a senator has introduced a similar measure. “Instead of relying on tricks, companies looking to sell their services in New Jersey should go back to the old-fashioned way: earning consumers’ trust,” said Moriarty. [More]
Jonathan wanted to opt out everyone in his family from direct marketing campaigns, something the DMA promises is possible via their website. Surprise! It turns out the DMA doesn’t really care so much about whether or not you want to be taken off any mailing lists, and they have a rotten website and poor security protocols to prove it.
I guess on some level we were all wondering just how many credit card offers we get in a year, but one Chicagoland family decided to count them. And weigh them.
If You Love Junk Mail, Visit The Direct Marketing Association's Advocacy Website "MailMovesAmerica.org"
Did you know that “advertising mail is under threat?” It’s true! But what can you, the consumer who loves junk mail, do to stop the 15 states that, in 2007, “proposed the creation of state Do Not Mail registries, similar to the national do not call registry”? The Direct Marketing Association has set up a website just for you!
Anyone who’s a customer of Chase knows how hardcore they can be about direct mail advertising. Martin writes:
Over the last 12-24 months, I’ve been annoyed with about 3-4 mailings a week from Chase for various add-on services and useless products. Already a customer of theirs, I did not appreciate this onslaught of advertising. Here’s a quick opt-out website in which you can cancel all direct marketing letters from Chase… dnmoptions.chase.com.
Direct mailers don’t believe in the concept of opting in, so if you want to cut down on the amount of straight-to-the-trash mail you receive, you’ll need to contact them directly and request that your name is removed. ForestEthics—the group behind the Do Not Mail Registry petition we blogged about earlier, has gathered several ways to contact the offending parties.
A senior database administrator for Fidelity National Information Services, a widely used banking technology and data providor, has admitted that he stole 8.4 million customer records from the company and sold the data to a broker, who in turn sold them to marketers. He could face up to 10 years in prison but will probably get less because he confessed. We think he should have to open, read, and shred every piece of junk mail that his victims receive for the next, oh, say 10 years instead.
Direct mail still works whether you want it to or not, which is why you’ll continue to get subscription requests, membership invitations, donation pleas, and coupons every day the mail runs. Here’s a list of tricks direct mail marketers use to increase the odds that their mailings will be opened. It’s written for marketers, but in the advertising arms race everything is fair game, so we felt it was worth showing Consumerist readers as well.
Our favorite moment: when Halleran asks, “If I cancel my account with you guys, will that stop the mailing?”, and the man on the other end just sighs in angry exasperation.
on three hams anymore?
If you’ve noticed your snail mailbox getting fuller, it’s not because you’ve become more popular, because odds are, you haven’t.