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I went out today to get the mail and lo and behold I found a blue box in my mailbox with this very tantalizing headline: "Open for an uplifting change"....


So naturally I was excited until I realized it was a sample for an Always Clean feminine hygiene product.
Hold on -- did I open my wife's mail?
Nope. It was addressed to "Eric Frenchman" and right below the address it says, "Have a happy period."
I've been married for over 12 years and one thing I'm pretty sure of is, I've never heard Mary say, "Wow! That was a happy period!" (unless, of course, she was helping my son with writing his first sentence). Thank goodness Wegmans wrote that they were sending me this mail for their sponsor and that they never share personal information with their suppliers.
Too bad none of their suppliers knows anything about direct mail because maybe they could have helped the Wegmans marketing department. I know -- any direct marketer could have made this mistake, but
a) it is funny, and
b) they should have done a better job.
Sure, my wife and I share the same card. But if you have ever shopped at Wegmans, you know you are not going there because of packaged items. You are going their for their unique foods. A simple database analysis of tampon purchases should have filtered out people that very rarely purchase them in Wegmans. Plus, they could have scrubbed for male first names or labeled the address differently.
A significant population knows next to nothing about this product and couldn't recommend this to a female. Imagine this: "Mary -- maybe you should try this Always Clean product because it comes with a $1 coupon only available at Wegmans."
To demonstrate this, Mary once sent me into a five-and-dime store down at the shore while we were on vacation to pick up her product. Of course, I forgot the "specs" and had to ask the hot 18-year-old store clerk for some help. After a few questions (which I got right!), she then said, "Does she use the one with wings?" My only answer was, "Wings... why? Is this going to give her an uplifting experience?"
Yes, I'm having fun with this. I'm glad Wegmans is trying to use its database for marketing because they certainly have a lot of data on shopping behaviors. However, they could have done a better job with addressing the box. The only reason this wasn't thrown out right away was because I wanted to write this post....
PardonMyFrench,
Eric
BTW: What are the wings for, anyway?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Frenchman is an online marketing and advertising consultant located in the Great State of New Jersey and Chief Internet Strategist for the online political agency Connell Donatelli Inc. Since 1998, Eric has managed multi-million dollar online advertising and CRM campaigns for AT&T, DLJdirect, Harrisdirect, and BMO Investorline and is a recognized expert in online marketing and advertising techniques. In 2005, Harrisdirect was ranked as the 17th largest online advertiser in the US and in 2003 was recognized as Best Financial Advertiser. Eric Frenchman's marketing blog is located here: http://www.ericfrenchman.com