Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Runner's World New Marketing Strategy-Repaying the Bailout Plan One Subscriber at a Time

Last night as I was having a conversation with myself about ways to avoid working out pondering my new training regimen that I started yesterday, my iPhone ping'ed. The sound meant that I had received a new e-mail which at the time of day meant  only thing....either an invitation to increase my manhood, a nigerian businessman who has chosen me to assist in the rescue of his cash, or a solicitation to buy something. It was the latter and from Runner's World.

My subscription lapsed about a year ago and i've missed getting something in the mail that wasn't a bill, adding more photos of Kara Goucher to my wall the hard-hitting up-to-the-minute technological breakthroughs in running that only Runner's World offers. I opened the email and saw that they were offering a 12 month subscription for only $12. That seemed like a pretty decent deal so I clicked on the link and it took me to a sign up page that explained the offer. Even better, they were offering a 24 month version for $24. If I wanted the 12-month option, I had to pay an additional $3.95 for shipping charges. Looking for the deal, I opted for the 24-month value plan.

I contentedly skipped through the ads and additional offers and got to the checkout. I clicked on the "bill me later" option. It processed the order, came back with a confirmation code and a pseudo invoice saying that they would bill me for $39.64!! WOW! The world came to a screeching halt at that moment. I examined it a little closer to see the neat little "*" sign which in the marketing world signifies "we've just screwed you and here's where you get to go find out why."

Clicking on the link takes me to a new screen that tells me that my state requires Rodale to charge sales tax. Being the bright mathematician that I am I called my kids down to solve this  I ran the numbers and discovered that Rodale tacked on 60.5% sales tax to my order! That is some fine marketing! I haven't been swindled that good since I was newly married and we bought a Geo Metro from a slick-talking used car salesperson. I haven't seen numbers that smooth since reading up on how the bailout plan would be repaid or how the healthcare bill will actually save me money. I've got to hand it to Rodale and give them the Slick Salesperson Salute for today.


  1. Wow. I think I've got some arizona beachfront property to sell you!

    Actually, I've totally done that before too.

  2. Nice post! Thanks for posting.