A major airline whose initials are AA sent me their e-newsletter today. Among other things, the newsletter, personalized with my name, told me that “we’ve put this issue together just for you, so whether you’re a novice flyer or a seasoned ‘road warrior,’ you’ll find plenty to pique your interest.”
Aww, you really put this one together just for me? Then why do you address me as if you don’t know whether I’m a novice flyer or a road warrior? I’ve only flown AA three times this year (way down from last year’s travel). My colleague, who has logged nearly two million miles and is a lifetime Platinum AAdvantage member, received the same newsletter with the same language. I guess they put it together just for him, too.
The fact is, thanks to their frequent flyer program, AA knows EXACTLY what kind of flyer I am – at least on their airline. They know when, where and how much I fly. (The only thing they don’t know, contrary to their bizarre and slightly Big Brother-ish ad campaign, is why I fly.)
Now there isn’t necessarily any need to use that knowledge in this newsletter. But why in heck can’t someone use common sense in writing copy for this thing? I may be more sensitive to this than most people, since I spent a good deal of my glamorous career writing copy for frequent customer newsletters, but this strikes me as simple common sense. Nobody forced them to write copy that, in a single sentence, manages to contradict itself while insulting my intelligence and making the airline look stupid.
No matter how much good thinking goes into planning loyalty programs and other customer-centric tactics, it can all be ruined – and often is – by failing to use good judgment, good blocking and tackling, and remembering the basic direct marketing lessons most of us learned years ago.
Anyone looking for a good newsletter copywriter?