Posted by: Jodi | May 23, 2011

The Junkmail Vultures are Circling

For my birthday last year I received a subscription to Writer’s Digest as a gift, and a wonderful gift it has been.  From the articles to the market listings, any writer can find useful information.  The subscription however, has come with an interesting twist.  It seems that my name and address has been leaked to a number of writing related services.  Every week I receive one or two cards trying to entice me to do various tempting things.  These have included: trying a gift subscription to an obscure writing magazine, enrolling in a college with programs designed specifically for writers, taking a writing aptitude test to see if I qualify for some special program or another, or sending my information to learn how I can make $1000′s in my spare time by freelance article writing.

I’ll admit at first I was flattered. It seemed at last the world was recognizing my efforts to become a better writer. However, when more and more letters kept showing up I figured out it must have been from my subscription information.

They don’t realize is that I’m on to their game.  I already know that their end goal is not to make me a better or richer writer; their goal is to get my money in their pockets.  They are betting on the wrong proverbial horse.   Junk mail is the worst way for a company to get my attention.

Even if I was interested in what they had to offer, I would consult with friends that have been in the business before trying anything new.

Sorry fellas, this girl is not gonna bite.

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Responses

  1. Whoa! Interesting.
    That must be something new. I got the book (and CD with access to their site) in ’09, and never got any of those goodies. Perhaps they just recognized me as a lost cause. )

    • There is the slim chance that the conference might be the culprit and not Writers Digest – but I’m still leaning toward WD being guilty. As for you being a lost cause,fah get about it! If they only knew they’d market to you in spades.

  2. Hmmm. . .please don’t tell me that you are only just NOW figuring out that advertiser’s are only out for your money????? My, you must indeed be young! :-D One of the first things I ever consciously – on purpose – taught our children, and before I ever let them watch TV by themselves, is the cardinal rule of commercial television: Whatever they are showing you, no matter what they say, they are solely and exclusively trying to SELL you something, and to part you from your money (or your parents!) Don’t be fooled by the promises made, how good and fun something looks, or how delicious it must taste. . . somethigntells me you don’t need this lecture. You have kids yourself! :-D

    It is so annoying when the junk mail and spam arrives – sometimes the spam starts cramming the inbox if you have only accidentally opened an e-mail once in the past – Grrrrr.

    The come-ons are also bothersome – especially the ones in the mail. I have gotten in the habit lately of checking to see how much they paid for the postage to send you their “personal” letter. If it is not first-class, i don’t even open it – into the shredder it goes! These days, many mags and other companies will tell you whether or not your personal info will be distributed and/or sold or not. When they don’t indicate, and i am interested, I will always inquire, using a “spam” e-mail address I’ve created for such a purpose. Depending on how they respond, I’ll subscribe or answer, or whatever. . .

    Technology can be such a pain in the arse.

    • Well duh! I’m not THAT naive. This is the first time that the junk mail has been specifically targeted at me and my interests. I try my hardest to not attract the attention of the vultures when I can.

      I do need to start explaining the purpose of advertising to my kiddos. They get very upset when I dont agree to let them have or do the things they see on tv.

      • I KNEW that! Just kidding! But – do take the time to teach your kids. It didn’t always work, but it did make for some interesting discussions!

  3. Junk mail is the SECOND worst way for a company to get my attention. The first is cold calling me.

    I screen all my calls. If you’re selling something, I won’t even pick up the phone.

    With junk mail, I may hang on to the information long enough to consider writing a blog post about the stupidity of marketers. :D

    • Amen to hating phone solicitors! I put all my numbers on the “Do not call” list to avoid it at all costs. The mail is more amusing than anything, at least I don’t have to talk to it.

  4. What a great blog! I HATE junk mail next to the flyers I get in Canada. I had a similar experience by going on a retreat – the next thing I new that retreat sold their guest list to spas and retreats around the world. I was getting invites from Italy, Columbia etc.

    • Thanks for stopping by! The more things I get myself into the more I wish for opt out options to be available. Just because I went to one retreat or conference doesn’t mean I’m looking for another.

  5. Magazine marketers are pure evil. Their writers and editors are good people, but those in charge of sales are utterly without scruples. Even a publication as benign as Reader’s Digest will stoop to sending duplicate invoices, sending issues you haven’t paid for and then later trying to bill you, and so on. And they won’t hesitate to sell your name and address to anybody who’s paying. Too bad there isn’t a one-click “unsubscribe” button for those guys.

    • They’ve gotta make money somehow I guess! Shame it’s not on the merits of the writing alone. I have yet to have someone deliberately try to rip me of with a service or subscription I’m already paying for. Hope the day never comes!

  6. I think I confused the junk mail algorithms by subscribing to the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker at the same time. Now I mostly get hit up by BOTH major political parties, often on the same day during campaign seasons.

    • Yikes! We made the “mistake” of contributing to a campaign and have received lovely letters ever since asking if we would like to give more.


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