Tuesday, December 1, 2009

AT&T Christmas Card Direct Marketing

I picked up my mail the other day and I saw that we had received our first Christmas card. Blue envelope, hand written address, pretty stamp, approximate size of a holiday card, all gave me the green light to rip this baby open.

Ever since I was a kid, I've liked the idea of Christmas cards and I guess it's from that childhood memory of helping my mom tape up all of the cards around our doorway that gives me those warm fuzzies about them now at thirty.

I ripped the card open and nothing was odd until I actually opened the card. Looks like I had been duped a bit and this was another piece of direct mail for AT&T's cable service.

Am I angry that I was duped? Absolutely not. The idea was to spend more on the look and feel of a holiday card, send it out around Christmas and in doing this garner a larger open rate.

I'll be the first to tell AT&T that it worked! I opened it! However this is where I stop, because I don't want their cable service and have no need for the product.

What I'm getting at is not that this is a blog post against direct mail. AT&T has been spending a lot on me lately. I've gotten some very high class snazzy mail from them lately and it hasn't gotten in my way, made me angry or annoyed. It's just not something I needed.

My thought instead goes to the amount that was spent on me and the campaign and how that money could have been spent elsewhere and the message could have landed in better hands.

How could AT&T spend money to better know me and my needs? Could they have known that I just signed up for Time Warner only weeks ago and wasn't ready to be advertised to? Would money spent instead on Social Media listening software like Radian6, Spiral16 or Social Radar been a better bet than buying a list?

I know that direct marketing has a place still in a marketing mix, but so many questions are being asked about the worth of a social media buy, that I think it's only fair that we ask the same questions on our more traditional buys.