Pinocchio Was Here Don't Lie or Stretch the Truth (1,006 words
By Lois K. Geller
I am one really lucky person. I just can't believe my good fortune. Within the span of a few days, the envelopes I opened declared, "You have been elected … ," "You have been chosen … ," "You have been selected … ," "You have won … !"
Do they think I just fell off a turnip truck? Who elected, chose, selected and nominated me? Am I really expected to suspend common sense and believe all this good luck?
I've also seen some world class companies use this kind of language. I think it instantly hurts their credibility. If you're a publisher of a magazine, don't try to convince me that I've been chosen for some absurd gimmicky offer. Instead, find out about me and why I will be interested in your publication, tell me about it and then make me a fair offer to subscribe on a trial basis.
With so many mailings that look as though they were written by Pinocchio, it's refreshing to receive an honest and sincere letter.
The real story, the truth, is always the best story. Let me offer a few examples of good, honest efforts.
• You've been chosen to receive this offer because we selected 10 lists of people for this mailing who have purchased by mail order in the past and are interested in collectibles—like this fine silver commemorative coin.
• Years ago, we did a mailing for Marshalls that promoted a sale on designer comforters. What made the letter interesting is that we explained how buyers went about getting these comforters at such a great savings. It detailed how one buyer heard a certain retailer was closing some stores and was planning on returning the comforters to the designer. The buyer then used this information to cut a great deal—so the savings could be passed on to the consumer.