Friday, January 9, 2009

Credit Card Conspiracy? Direct Mail Strikes Back!

I get a boatload of credit card offers on a weekly basis. Like any other paranoid American, I toss them in the shredder as soon as I get them. Lately, though, I have been noticing that the content card companies send out - especially American Express - are too big just to put in the shredder without opening the envelope and separating the papers. Plus, these card companies have taken to adding in fake cards with "YOUR NAME HERE" printed on them, which causes my shredder to grind to a halt.

If this was done intentionally, it is the most brilliant direct marketing idea since cluster analysis. Despite the fact that a consumer knows he or she does not want to even think about getting a card, this practice is forcing a group of consumers to be exposed to their information. This may just be a conspiracy theory, but I have to wonder if it's true.

Do these card companies - knowing full and well that a segment will instantly trash their letter - have a system to earn a profit off of these consumers?

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