Overstating statements get people to tune out

Estimated read time: 1 minutes



Open Immediately letterI was reminded the other day why it gets harder and harder to get and keep people’s attention.

Take a look at this letter that I received in the mail. The outside of the envelope says:

OPEN IMMEDIATELY: IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR TELEVISION ACCOUNT

I did recently cut satellite television from our list of bills, so this could be important:

Something might be going on with the bill.
Maybe they didn’t get the equipment we mailed back.
Who knows.

Nope, none of those were the important information. The envelope was stuffed with ads and offers to come back, because they “missed us.”

A bit of an overstatement on the envelope.

Other, more authentic messages could have been:
Special “please come back” deal included.
We want you back. Special offer included.
Do you miss sports channels? You can come back.

Something along those lines.



I’ve mentioned many times that attention from the consumer can be hard to come by. People are showered with thousands of messages a day. Yes, we need to stand out to even get people’s attention. But attention gotten through overstated and worse – misleading – headlines won’t help us sustain this attention.

We get a one-time look – if even that – and people move on.

I prefer to do business with companies that use authentic and completely accurate wording in their communications.

It’s part of authentic storytelling – or in this case authentic marketing.