How to Waste Your Direct Mail Budget… And Anger Your Customers


This is the third piece of increasingly shrill mail we’ve received from Comcast in the last few weeks. The previous two envelopes had this on the outside:


The gist of the message inside was that in order to continue receiving all of the channels we’ve been paying for, we needed to get a digital converter box from Comcast. We’d been under the impression that we had the proper box, so we’d ignored the first two notices.

This new one, however, seemed pretty sure of itself — “ACT NOW OR YOU WILL LOSE CHANNELS” is not at all ambiguous. So my wife called Comcast to make arrangements.

“Oh”, said the perky customer service rep who answered. “You’ve already got the converter box. We send these notices to everyone!”

I spend a significant portion of my workday trying to convince local companies to spend money on advertising and marketing. For the past six months or so, just about everyone I’ve encountered is looking very carefully at every penny they spend.

Not Comcast.

They own the mailing list, and should be able to determine which customers were going to have a problem and which ones already had the proper equipment. When my wife called, it took the phone rep a couple of seconds to figure it out.

Instead, they appear happy to waste large sums of money designing, printing, and mailing multiple, and unnecessary, threatening letters to its subscribers.

Since my monthly check helps pay for this misguided marketing effort, I’m having trouble sharing their joy.


Check out Phil Bernstein’s Facebook Fan Page — and become a Fan – here

Click here to learn the shocking truth about Phil Bernstein

Click this link to subscribe to Portland’s Finest Advertising and Marketing Blog.

Request your free copy of Phil Bernstein’s white paper, The Seven Deadly Advertising Mistakes and How to Fix Them here.

Got a question? Call Phil Bernstein, Portland’s Advertising Expert, at 503-323-6553.


Sign up for my blog updates and never miss a post. I'll send you the first two chapters of my new book, Breakthrough Prospecting, as a thank-you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Your Chance to Be Heard -- Comment Here!

One thought on “How to Waste Your Direct Mail Budget… And Anger Your Customers

  1. Think of all the trees they’ve killed to send this mail. Think of all the time their reps have to spend, answering these silly calls. There must be a more cost-effective way to deal with this. But then, we pay them a gazillion dollars each month so they have lots to spend.