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We got the following in the mail this week from United Airlines:

In case you can’t read the text, here’s what it says:

Valuable limited-time offer delivered to your inbox.

Watch your email during the week of August 11 to receive a valuable limited-time offer from
United for international travel this fall. Avoid the summer crowds and see what the world has
to offer. What could be more beautiful than Paris in September? Or, visit London or Thailand
for that pre-Thanksgiving getaway. Wherever the destination, you’re sure to save with this
special limited-time offer, designated only for you.

[This info is provided by us. We get you to the inbox. Learn how here.]

Now, nevermind asking why we got this when it was already well past August 11th (or, perhaps that was their strategy, to have people go back and check their spam filters).

The much bigger question is:

Why would a major corporation like United Airlines feel that they needed to spend the time, effort and, let’s face it – a lot of money – to send postcards to millions of people just to tell them to keep an eye on their inbox?

Something has gone horribly wrong when in order for an email marketing campaign to be effective, you first have to send your customers something via the post office to alert them to watch their inbox.

What is it?

(And, as an aside, if you are going to go through the trouble of sending a mass postal mailing to all of your customers, why not use that opportunity to, hey, pitch your campaign?)

So, what is going on here? Is anyone else doing this? And if so, why?

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