The money AND the books!
Every now and then I hit a paragon of customer communication.
This one comes from Clouston & Hall Booksellers, who deal in remaindered books.
It hits so many of my buttons, I had to table it for you:
Read it & Leap
In the past two years something has happened. Our records show we haven’t received an order from you in all that time. They can’t tell us if you have visited us here in Canberra or at one of our sales.
Have you stopped buying books (God forbid!) or are you buying them from someone else? I am not going to take it personally, instead, I am giving you $10.00 in “Fun Money” to spend on anything in this catalogue. Please note the certificate has a short shelf life and expires in about four weeks time.
We are a small family company and I am sure you can appreciate that the cost of sending out catalogues is quite high. If you would like to continue receiving the catalogues please do one of the following:
- Take advantage of the enclosed fun money and send us an order;
- Circle number 2 on the enclosed form and send it back to me; [See Appendix.]
- If you just want to know about sales we will be holding in your area, simply circle the appropriate city on the enclosed form and return it to us.
If none of this tempts you tell me what will. Drop me a line or telephone me on 1800 026 168.
Remember, the fun money certificate is only valid for a short time, so act now!
PS Our current catalogues are on the World Wide Web at http://www.cloustonandhall.com.au/ If, rather than receiving paper catalogues, you would like to receive an email each time a new catalogue is put up on the Web please write your email address in the space provided. There is no charge for this service.
I love this letter because it:
- is a letter.
- is wonderfully frank and honest.
- uses delightfully archaic terms.
- is unusual and intriguing.
- comes with an offer that’s useful and relevant to me (especially at this time of year).
- is polite yet friendly – without being familiar.
- offers many options for action – both multiple choice and open ended.
- admits frailty.
- includes a closing date.
- is human.
- has a PS.
Room for Improvement
My quibbles with this communication are minor:
- The merge print could have run to a salutation (e.g. Dear Paul).
- It’s a shame Tom didn’t know I’d bought quite a few books at the last two Melbourne sales.
- The letter could use a light edit to fix a few redundancies and inconsistencies.
- Tom could’ve signed it.
Winston Marsh put me onto this crowd. I’ve been impressed by their range, prices and sales.
I now see their high standards go all the way to the bone.
I know I’ll be using that $10 voucher before month’s end.
And that’ll probably trigger further purchases.
But what do you think of this communication?
If you were a wayward customer, would it bring you back to the fold?
Write to us.
You’ll be very well read.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire
Appendix: The Form
DON’T DELAY – ACT TODAY
1. Thank you for the fun money, please find my order enclosed.
- OR -
2. I don’t want to buy anything at the moment but I do still want to receive your catalogues.
- OR -
3. I don’t want regular catalogues but would like to receive notice of sales in the city circled below. [List deleted.]
- AND/OR -
4. Please send me an email each time you put a new catalogue up on the Web. My email address is: