The Mystery Sticker

grab bag, misc

After after signing up for and receiving all sorts of free magazine subscriptions via Internet promotions, I’m now on some sort of “major magazine lover” list. Hardly a week goes by when I don’t receive one or more solicitations in the mail for free trial subscriptions to this or that magazine.

Always the curious fella (and one who finds it hard to turn down “free,” despite the humungous pile of unread magazines in his closet), I typically agree to the free trials.

But there’s one thing I’ve always wondered.

Why do they include a special (oh so special!) “FREE TRIAL ISSUES!” sticker in their mailings, and then ask you to stick it on the reply form?

If you returned the reply form without the sticker, would they throw away your request? Somehow I doubt it.

Perhaps they use this ploy to help them divide the respondents into separate lists for future marketing:

“Sheep who dutifully do what they’re told”

and

“Stubborn individualists or dumb people who can’t follow simple directions.”

Or is there some other rational explanation that I’m missing?

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What do you think?