Postcards. . .And (Please) Buy My Book —Erik Cagle

EVERY NOW and then we receive a printer’s promo piece through the mail. My name will end up on a list with prospects and incumbent clients for a printing company, and I’ll get a taste of their sales program.

Well, my publisher strolled up the other day and asked me to figure out what was wrong with a mailer he’d gotten via snail mail. I pored over the piece and began to panic. . .what was the gaffe? Spelling? Poor print job? Elaine Benes’ nip slip again? Just what was wrong with this postcard?

Dave laughed at me. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

One side proclaimed, “Don’t forget. . .Free Overnight Shipping! until October 31st.” The other side repeated the shipping offer and some other services, including 24 to 72 hour production on all catalog products, custom quotes in three minutes or less, and an automatic open account (up to $2,000) with no credit check. Hey, sounds like a great deal to me.

Still, I was clueless at this point. So I scanned over the mailing address and checked everywhere for typos. There were none. Poor color? Nope. Registration off badly? Not the case.

Worse. Of all the transgressions a printer can commit, leaving off the name and contact info for your company from the mailer is easily the most egregious.

I’m not kidding. No company name, logo or otherwise was included, gentle readers. Someone piddled a whole lot of printing and postage costs down the gutter, with a guaranteed response rate of zero percent.

I took to the Internet, hoping to find evidence of origin. The postcard mailed from New Albany, IN, and the “free shipping” graphic appears to indicate southern Indiana as the epicenter. Alas, none of the phrases produced any likely results in my search engine. Seemingly, I’d reached a dead end.

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