Just about every month for the past couple of years, I’ve received an unassuming-looking envelope in the mail from a local plumbing company. Contained within isn’t a flashy card about fast service or expertise. There’s no coupon for a discount. In fact, there’s usually not a single mention of plumbing other than the company’s name and phone number (not even a logo).
Instead, there’s a basic (and I do mean basic) document, most likely done in Microsoft Word, black ink on regular printing paper. And that document contains bits of trivia on themes that range from the Fourth of July to pecans.
Awhile back, I was marveling at how very weird this form of direct mail was to a friend. There’s no strategy. There’s no messaging. And my friend said, “Oh, I love those mailings! I always learn something, and it helps me remember the name of a plumber because I can never seem to recall one when I need it.”
Huh. Well, I guess I hadn’t thought of it like that.
There is something charming in the homegrown tidbits to be found in these mailing. Tidbits like:
- Pecans are the only major tree not to grow naturally in North America.
- You know you’re living in 2015 when…you haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.
- A number 16 seeded school has never won an NCAA basketball tournament game.
- It’s impossible to lick your elbow, but 75% of people who read this will try.
The mailings often contain punctuation errors. There’s no web address. They violate pretty much every rule of direct mail. And yet, I know the name of this plumbing company. It’s the first one that comes to mind when neighbors post requests for plumbers to our local list serve.
So maybe it’s unconventional. But just maybe, this plumber is on to something. What do you think?