A Tale of Two Appeals to Guilt

I felt guilty twice today when I rejected marketers appeals to me. Both appeals used guilt. But they came off really differently.

At roughly 10 AM I got a phone call from a pediatric medical organization — seeking a donation. I could be (very) wrong… but I had the distinct impression that they had done some “tone-of-voice” testing and had settled on just the perfect way to say  the name of the disease and describe how it impacts kids. It really got to me — too much, in fact. I was busy. I felt intruded on. And I got off the phone. At least right now I don’t feel like hearing from them again. Sad, because they really do deserve money.

Later in the morning I unsubscribed from an email list. Below is the confirmation page giving me a chance to change my mind. Note the language: “please tell me what you didn’t like” … like by actually leaving I must disappoint the cute little puppy. Since I’d already embraced my inner cold-hard-man for the morning I didn’t resubscribe. But I didn’t mind this at all… this kind-of tongue-in-cheek guilt tactic. I can still see being really engaged with them.



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