Wright Veterinary: Typo Leads to Very Early Reminders

I received this postcard on January 15 from the veterinarian for my dog, Buddy. The vet sends these courtesy postcards if I have missed my dog’s immunization dates, reminding me to keep my dog vaccinated.

Although one would like to believe that the neighborhood vet who cares about each four-legged and two-legged friend individually is a from a mom-and-pop shop, it is nonetheless a business complete with business processes, a database, and a lettershop. The reminder postcard I received for my vet in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had been mailed from such a lettershop in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 

The postcard reminded me about treatments due in December 2016 -- 11 months from now. This merits a Fail for List. As I understand from a phone call to the WrightVeterinary Medical Center, one of the employees had incorrectly entered the month and year of due vaccinations for the mailing list. This typo had resulted in many reminder postcards being sent in error -- and many pet owners calling in to verify they had received the postcard in error.

Wright Veterinary Reminder CardThe message is attempting to be a bit cute -- referring to the pet and suggesting the owner bring the pet in for immunizations, but the message was a bit confusing. However, I wouldn’t call the message a Fail for Creative. Still, there are some typos as well as multiple instances of confusion between singular and plural nouns, so the copy could be cleaned up a bit. Here is an attempt to streamline the content while maintaining the same message.

We missed seeing your pet for at least one important vaccination.

Maintaining your pet’s immunity to diseases is a vital part of its total health care program. So, we wanted to remind you of the vaccinations and dates due for each pet. They are listed on this postcard.

Please be sure to order preventative medications and make an appointment for preventative treatments now, because further delay could be harmful to your pet. Call us at Wright Veterinary Medical Center today at 610-865-2611, because a healthy pet is a happy pet.

I would also suggest writing a cleaner call to action. Just ask the pet owner to call in to discuss how to ensure the pet can get its required vaccinations. By having one call to action and maintaining a consultative tone, a pet owner can call with adequate peace of mind.

If I am going to write about my dog, I can’t help myself but include a picture of Buddy. He is such a cute, friendly dog!

  1. What goes out on your mailing list is based on what you put in as your list criteria, so be sure your mailing list accurately reflects your intentions.
  2. Keep your call to action clean and simple whenever possible.


Quicken: Thinking of My Money Before Christmas

My favorite direct marketing guru Bob Stone said, “Once JCPenney has its first Christmas sale, little else matters.” He was referring to selling low-interest products via direct marketing during the holiday season. The conventional wisdom is that December is the time to sell things you can gift or donate – whether a sweater or money to the March of Dimes. This makes it seem odd that I received a CD-ROM from Quicken in the mail on the Friday before Christmas. 

I don’t use Quicken 2015 – nor have I used Quicken 2014, 2013, 2012, etc. Thus, I presume this is a new-customer prospect solicitation. Visually, it reminds me of those AOL CD-ROMs sent by the millions in the 1990s. I suppose that, somewhere, some people are thinking, “Yes, this is the solution I need for knowing where all my money is!” during a time when most people are focusing on where their money is going and how to get those Christmas LEDs to stop blinking.

I wonder if this mailer is Fail for Timing, or if Intuit has done enough research to truly believe that the week leading up to Christmas is a time to help people take control of their finances. My best guess is that, when they mailed it Standard Rate, they expected it to arrive later in the month, but the Postal Service delivered it faster than expected.

Happy new year!