Turning Junk Mail on its Head

Just like you, I get junk mail all the time. Perhaps unlike you, I sometimes open and look at mine. 99% of the time  still end up throwing it away but every once in a great while I find something golden.

Such is what happened to me the other day.

I got a letter in the mail from AAA. I already have roadside assistance through my auto insurance but there are plenty of other good reasons to consider having AAA: my daughter now drives and I want her to have coverage, discounts at all sorts of retailers, I suppose I might even check out their travel planning services.

But that’s not the reason I opened the letter.

I opened it because of a special promotion they were offering. Buy a one year membership and get 500 frequent flyer miles. Reading through the literature, they offered the frequent flyer miles almost as an afterthought.

I’m sure it was a pretty big deal to the airline but it’s not really a AAA benefit so they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal at all.

Here’s my 3-second thought process:

  1. I’m planning a really big trip for the end of the year and will be using frequent flyer miles for part of it. I sure could use a few extra.
  2. A one year membership for both me and my daughter is $52.
  3. I can’t get a 500 mile flight to anywhere for $52.
  4. So I can “buy” 500 frequent flyer miles for $52 and get a year of AAA for free!

The complete opposite of how they were trying to sell it to me.

The end result was the same; I bought the membership.

I’m sharing this with you now because sometimes it pays to at least glance at your junk mail. And sometimes it pays to flip a sales proposition on its ear and look at it from another angle. Without those frequent flyer miles, that letter would have ended up in my recycle bin with the other 34 pieces of junk mail I got that day.

Instead, I got something I truly needed — something AAA wasn’t even officially selling — and snagged a whole year of discounts and roadside assistance for free.

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