When you’re deep in the thralls of a startup, learning to market yourself becomes paramount. What may seem simple on the surface reveals a deeply sophisticated topic. As I’ve been learning more about marketing, I’ve gained a greater appreciate for it’s techniques, regardless of their manifestation. That’s why I couldn’t resist opening this suspicious package even though I routinely send junk mail straight to the can.
Dear FedEx: Please sue us.
I had to find out what was worth committing this particularly egrigious trademark infringment. Obviously, there was no trace of a company actually called Priority Express that I could find. And surely if there were, FedEx would not have granted them a license to use one of the most famous logo marks in history.
Inside we discover a veritable treasure chest of behavioral psychology. When I was in Spain, I had the good fortune to be staying with a marketing student from England thanks to AirBnB. I introduced her to Seth Godin by boldly claiming that he was part of a “good” marketing movement, one where customers get treated with sincerity and respect. I wish I had this envelope with me because this is precisely what it means to go to “the dark side of marketing.”
They pulled out all the tricks on this one. So let’s break it down, we may as well learn something here. I’m interested to see what others turn up.
The header immediately goes for the near miss effect
. We’re close, we’re a finalist! And it addresses me directly, to make sure I know this is the real deal. The potential price is big and noticable with a unique type treatment that distinguishes it from the page. The spinning dials are eerily close to a slot machine display, and to ensure no subtle act is left unnoticed, the last 0 is slightly offset to give the appearance of motion.
The large font and personalization also trigger something a little more unconscious. Because my name is mentioned here (and several more times later), I am more likely to both remember the company and reflect on them fondly (research). The extra printing and distribution costs do not justify such a move without a considered intention.
Our call to action
urges us to contact the promoter. And like any good landing page creator knows, any friction between me and the finish line has to be removed. I’m given a phone number, a personalized website, and even a QR code. Since I’m a glutton, I had to call the number. The IVR system immediately prompted me for the pin number. Customer tracking in the offline world is still a little cumbersome, but I played along. Surprise, there are no agents, the office is currently closed. But I’m sure my mailbox won’t be.
What good call to action would be believable without a testimonial? Nothing builds trust and integrity like a previous winner. The picture is of a guy holding a giant check. That totally makes sense when the grand prize is a $10,000 debit card
. Jimmy Olaventa Birchfield doesn’t sound made up either. I always use my middle name when I win prizes.
If you like gambling, then a credit card is just up your alley. This is the perfect primer
for making someone willing to spend and, when they do, spend more. Something about a credit card just screams freedom from constraints, a way out to get what you “need.” My local grocery apparently doesn’t accept Platinum Preferred though.
I’m a guaranteed winner. For their part, a measly $150 is a swell price to pay to convert on selling a car. How can I turn down the opportunity to at least find out more? I’m sure we’d learn that the winners only qualify with a purchase from the lot. Unfortunately, I’m left to jump to that conclusion since all the agents seem to be out of the office.
The promotion has clearly defined their target customer. Scratch-cards and their ilk appeal heavily to low-income households, a well-studied phenomenon
in state lotteries. We’ve already been guaranteed a prize, so this one is just for entertainment. I suppose the target demographic would be thankful for the freebie.
First make me feel lucky, then make me feel special. Invitations are a wonderful way to build exclusivity and artificial demand for your offer. I ran a community
website working entirely off invitations, so I can tell you they work well. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t have something engaging to show off once users got inside. Certainly nothing like that new car smell.
As we get to the bottom of a page, our salesman begins getting more desperate at the last chance to close the deal. Here is the offer that I can’t refuse, a cash money check. Free is the ultimate seductress, and this one is calling my name. Yes, I choose a free check for $4,266.79 over the $0.25 Lindt truffle
I suppose if you’re going to go dark side on me, then you may as well go for Death Star. But next time Landers, you might try not sending your offers to such a blatently wrong demographic. No one in my neighborhood gambles, we play Poker.