A Tale of Two Letters

I received 2 letters in the mail. Letter #1 had been run off of an old black and white copier onto low grade copy paper. Letter #2 had been printed onto color letterhead, bright white paper.

Letter #1 is two pages. Letter #2 is one page.

Letter #1 had an offer for a free thermostat with a new system; the free offer was buried on the last sentence of page two. Letter #2 had a separate insert exclusively dealing with a dollar discount on the next service.

Which company is winning so far?

The top of Letter #1 read, “how you can save $989 with the purchase of a new advanced, energy saving air conditioning system while reducing your electric bills. Plus, I’ll show you how to add a furnace and save an additional $534. Dear Friend, Your old air conditioning system is wasting your money every single month.”

The top of Letter #2 read, “June 8, Ed Gagnon, Address, Dear Friend, Thank you for choosing [Company Name] for your air conditioning and heating needs. I appreciate your recent business and I personally want to welcome you as our newest customer.”

Yes, you’re right. Letter #1 is a generic marketing letter poorly done. Letter #2 is a follow-up letter to business already received by the company to a new customer. It’s well-done.

Both letters arrived on the same day. Both were from the same company.

This is an example of how one company can get it so right and so wrong at the same time. Letter #1 is generic, does not grab your attention, is not personalized, does not focus you on a message, and was received with no follow-up. Letter #2 is personalized, professional, personally signed by the owner, concise, and a good relationship-builder. Not only are the two letters contrasts in effectiveness, but at least one is a waste!

With Letter #2, there is no need for Letter #1. But this is the proverbial “left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.” Marketing and customer service did not communicate, and marketing wastes its money, the customer’s time, and some credibility with the customer by sending its mailing to an existing customer.

Surely this company’s marketing department could learn from its customer service area how to market more personally. And surely both areas could communicate better.

Don’t waste your money, your customer’s time, and your credibility due to poor internal communication.

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Posted on in Business Advice

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