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#105 Amazon and My Eyeglasses Problem
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia , PA
Tuesday, August 18, 2020




#105 Blog Post - Tuesday, August 18, 2020

   Posted by Denny Hatch

 The Day I Refused to Look Dorky!

My Eyeglasses Problem

All my life — with 20/400 vision plus astigmatism— I have worn glasses. After two years of hard use, the earpieces get a bit bent outta shape (as do I). Add to the problem Covid-19 masks with straps that go over the ears. There ain't a lot of room between my ears for eyeglasses plus mask ear straps.

When I inadvertently bend down, my glasses fall off—often onto the sidewalk. Result: lens scratched.

Finally, I went to Amazon to solve the problem. Amazon did not make it easy... 

How Amazon Screwed Up and Cried "Uncle!"

 In 70 years of ordering stuff over distance I have never received a letter like the above.

Read between the lines and it appears Amazon got a ton of returns and went looking for a clue as to what went haywire.

I had bought the product. I really like it.

Here's the story from an insider (actual buyer) about a serious worldwide marketing pandemic—along with Takeaways all direct marketers should have hardwired into our DNA. 

The marketing pandemic: sending out products to customers and including instructions written and designed by amateurs that leave us crazed and feeling totally inadequate.

Note the eyeglasses and attachment in the upper center. No flashy ribbons. No strings. It looked like an unobtrusive little attachment at the back that would keep my loosey-goosey frames from slipping off.
I clicked on BUY NOW and forgot about the order.
A few days later the order arrived. A teeny-tiny package encased in a big Amazon Prime bubble pack. Here is what was enclosed:
Four tiny gummy black 1-1/2" doo-hickeys.
I have no idea what they are. 



Two 10" stringy wiry thingies.

 A tiny soft cloth. Lens cleaner? No mention of what it is anywhere.


I had forgotten what this thing I ordered looked like and had no idea how to put it together.

Eureka! I found instructions! Alas, on a wee 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" slip of paper.




 (Throughout these instructions all type is 4—point and totally unreadable)

Translation of the above line of copy:
(Throughout these instructions all type is 4-point and totally unreadable)

I turned 85 this past Saturday. With my crappy eyesight, 4-point type is pointless.

"Type smaller than 9-point is difficult for most people to read." —David Ogilvy

I fumbled around and figured out how to make this work. Here's the result.

 • When I bend over, my glasses don't fall off!

• I am bald. We live on the 30th floor overlooking the Delaware River. I have always envied mean and women who could push their eyeglasses up onto their heads and thick hair would secure them. This gadget allows me to prop glasses onto the top of my head, so I can use binoculars to look at ships on the river!

Takeaways to Consider

• It's fashionable for today's email techies to dismiss us old direct mail geezers who came up with the direct marketing rules that go back 800 years.

• "The Internet is a new medium," the hotshots sneer at us. "It's a new paradigm. The old rules do not apply. We make the rules now. So, buzz off."

• Ah, but here's the rub. When merchandise is sold digitally via email or the Internet, how is it sent to the customer? By snail mail or Express Mail or UPS or FedEx.

• Suddenly the process reverts back to its primitive roots and the old proven rules apply. Experienced old-timers' know-how matters.

"The sale begins when the customer says yes." —Bill Christensen, Freelancer

• There is always a lag time between order and delivery—a couple of days (Amazon) or longer (everybody else). During that time a lot goes on in a person's life. Covid-19. The dog dies. A kid breaks a leg. Chances are amid the mayhem of the day the customer may not remember what was ordered or why.

• "We spend as much time on every step of the fulfillment process—the packaging, copy and design—as we did on the original solicitation. —Malcolm Decker

• Consumers want instant gratification. When a shipment arrives, we want it to work immediately: try it on to see if it fits, read it, plug it in and use it, taste it, play with it.

• Always include welcome material including a warm, enthusiastic letter signed by a real person with a real signature.

• "When the product arrives, make sure it is accompanied by instructions so clear that an idiot can understand them." —Don Jackson

• If the assembly process is not easy, include the link to a YouTube video that shows what to do. 

• Offer a chat feature, URL or 800-number to call if there are any questions or problems.

• If it doesn't perform as promised—or we can't figure out how it works—back it goes for a refund. A monetary loss and pissed-off customer.

• Make sure these communications from the customer go direct to a polished telephone rep or chat expert who knows the product and has immediate answers.

• Keep a record of all problems and if the same situation pops up multiple times, deal with it right away for future fulfillment efforts.

• These folks handling the back end of the sale are every bit as important and those who generated the original order.

 • In short, your back-end marketing must be as good as your front-end marketing or you don't have a business.


Word Count: 899

You Are Invited to Meet Denny Hatch: http://dennyhatch.blogspot.com/2020/03/87-geezer-fast-yoga.html
At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press. He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 years he has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.


Denny Hatch
The St. James
200 West Washington Square, #3007
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-644-9526 (Rings on my desk) 

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