I received an unsolicited letter in the mail a little while ago, from the local office of an international real estate company.
The only reason I read through the entire letter - and believe me, it took real effort to persist to the end - is because I'm a marketer and it's an ingrained habit to analyse marketing material from other businesses to see what I can learn.
OR, HOW NOT TO BORE THE PANTS OFF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
I've no interest in identifying the company that sent me the letter, so I have blanked out anything that gives a clue to who they are.
Take a look at an image of the letter.
It's deliberately a small image, because I want you to look at the design, not the details.
It's not uninteresting to look at, right? It's got colour, a graphic, a photo and a signature - so there are enough different elements to keep it interesting.
So far, so good.
But this is where it gets boring (the letter, that is!)
Look at the first three paragraphs, which make up more than half the text of the letter.
What do you notice?
It's boring. I quite literally felt my eyelids grow heavy before the end of the first sentence. And do you know why? Because it's all about them, not us.
It takes till the end of the third paragraph to even understand why they have written to us. Surely they took the time to write the letter and deliver it to us because they wanted us to consider listing our house for sale with them, not toss the letter in the recycling before even reading to the end.
My first reaction to reading that this company "was launched in Hawke's Bay in 2012" and that "2015 proved to be our best trading year to date" was a stonking great "SO WHAT?"
I'm sure you all know someone who you're desperate to avoid in social situations because they can't stop going on about themselves and they are deluded about how interesting their life / job / relationship really is.
This letter is that person.
All right then, I got that off my chest.
If you know anybody that might benefit from this post, please do share it with them.
Thanks for reading,