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3 Sneaky Marketing Words Companies Use to Lure Consumers

sneaky marketing wordsIt’s a beautiful, sunny October day here in the South. One where the temperature is just right and fall has knocked the humidity on its knees. The kids are playing in the front yard and I’m strolling to the mailbox to see what goodies the postman has dropped off today.

Reaching into the box I find the typical…bill, bill, Value-Pak ads, postcard advertising a lawn care service and lastly one shiny, black envelope that is obviously a credit card mailing from the logo printed on the front. What caught my eye however was not the logo but the three little marketing words printed just below the fold on the back side of the envelope…

It read: “We miss you.”

Awww…how touching.

Let me shed a tear as I throw this in the trash, all the while having Klymaxx’s “I Miss You” lyrics churning through my head.

Marketing Words of Love

There is nothing more emotionally gratifying as a human being than to be loved. Everyone wants to experience the joy that comes from knowing you are desired and needed by someone.

To that end we look for ways to fit into those areas where people need us or want to love us. We volunteer to help with causes, lead organizations and enter relationships based on our capacity to fill the need. In return we get the satisfaction of knowing our efforts are being appreciated and deep relationships are being formed.

The advertising industry has obviously latched onto this human compulsion to be loved and is using it in marketing words to stir up emotion in consumers. The thought that a company out there wants to have a relationship with me is powerful.

They want me…cue Uncle Sam.

But it’s a trap.

What They Really Want Is…

Remember that person who said “I love you” but really wanted something else?

In fourth grade I once told a girl I loved her and would “date” her for a week because she promised to bring me candy everyday. I didn’t care about her at all, just what she promised to give me. That was the longest (but sweetest) week of my fourth grade year.

Here’s the truth about companies that use marketing words like “We Miss You.” They don’t care about you the person. All they care about is your money. They will deny that to the hilt and use code words in their advertising like “building relationships” or “get to know us” or “have your interests at heart” to convince us to think otherwise.

Don’t be fooled. This type of psychological warfare is designed to get the consumer to bite on the product or service. Once you are paying them money they will feel less obligated to “miss” or “be there” for you.

If you doubt that, try having a problem with that company and working through the nightmare that is their customer service.

I Don’t Miss Them

The satisfying thing for me is that I don’t miss them at all. There was a reason I cut up that credit card in the first place. I realized the relationship was causing me financial harm and knew that it had to end.

But they still try to entice me back. They will do the same to you. Don’t be fooled into thinking they really care about the deep relationship part. They are just playing on our emotions and innate desire to be loved. All they really are interested in is our money.

Questions: Have you ever fallen back into a relationship because a company used marketing words like “We miss you?” What other emotional taglines have you seen from advertising agencies?

Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next Post: I’m Sick but Still Writing Because I Have a Goal

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  1. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    I don’t miss them as well when I wouldn’t get something that I feel I am used. If it’s sneaky and has the content as what I got previously, I’ll just put it straight into the garbage. But, there are many ads/letters which I miss! These are something like freebies and coupons. 😀

  2. Feeling like no-one cares about you? Try missing a mortgage payment!

    What disgusts me is that kids fresh out of high school with no money sense whatsoever are easy targets for the credit card companies, but they won’t realise that till they’re already up to their eyes in high-interest debt.

    • You are right about college freshman being easy targets for credit card companies. Parents need to do a better job of educator their kids not to get sucked in by the “free T-shirt to sign up” offers presented to them at college.

  3. I have been a fool to all of these. Temptation is hard to resist sometimes.

  4. Ha ha! I love it (and the cute story of your 4th grade “girlfriend). 🙂 I laugh when I see those things in the mail or in my email inbox. The other ones I hate are the guilt trips about how if you don’t subscribe/buy/whatever it is then somehow you will be lacking. Nice try, but ain’t gonna work!

  5. They can fee free to miss me all they want 🙂

    I think the more insidious marketing is the kind that produces good feelings without being able to point to the source. An example for me? Patagonia. I have warm feelings about them as a company and as a quality brand. I’ve never owned their clothing and I don’t know any specifics about the ethics of their company! Somehow though they managed to get past my defenses!

    • “…produces good feelings without being able to point to the source.” That’s interesting. I haven’t thought of marketing like that before but now that you mention it I can think of a few companies where I feel the same way.

  6. Direct TV really misses me. They send me that same letter every week, but I just don’t miss them. I much prefer the money saved that goes into retirement over 60 channels I rarely watched.

    • OMG Kim…Don’t get me started about DirectTV. They could increase their bottom line if they just quit spending money on postage for the mailings they send me…and apparently you. Good grief.

  7. You can never underestimate the value of a good marketing campaign. Clothing stores are notorious for the we miss you type of mailers and here’s a coupon for $25 off your next $100 purchase. I imagine they tested those 3 little words through the roof and I’m sure they are incredibly effective, especially when tied to a coupon or a signing bonus. As much as I enjoy a good coupon, I always remind myself that they are playing with my emotions. If I actually need something and can use a coupon, fantastic. If not, smile and throw it away because I don’t miss them.

    • I’ve totally fallen for the ploys of my fave clothing store. Damn those “we miss you” coupons are hard to ignore!

    • “…I imagine they tested those 3 little words…” Thanks for pointing that out Shannon! That’s one issue I don’t think the general public realizes. Big companies spend millions of dollars testing these campaigns and strategies to see which ones stick. They are not going into this blindly.

  8. Lance @ Healthy Wealthy Income says

    Working in marketing I can absolutely tell you that no one does this….ha just kidding! Advertising is all about emotion these days. I can give you facts and figures out the wazoo, but until I can make an emotional connection then I’ve got my foot in the door and in your mind.

    That is why it’s not really called branding and marketing anymore it’s all about relationship and value….see we’re even sneaky about what we call things these days. Create an emotional attachment and superb customer experience and you may have a customer for life.

    • Thanks for sharing the inside scoop on this Lance. And I agree 100% with this…”Create an emotional attachment and superb customer experience and you may have a customer for life.” I see that at work all the time in my own preferences and spending habits.

  9. I get those words a lot! Maybe they should instead use “We missed you” because I just walked passed you very fast.

  10. Ha! I have gotten the “we miss you” marketing ads a bunch, and I just laugh them off and think just what you said, “I don’t miss them.” It’s nice to know that you have mentally kicked a bad relationship (for me shopping in certain stores) to the curb and feel no emotional attachment to their marketing ploys.

    • “…no emotional attachment to their marketing ploys.” I think I’ve just wised up when I really began to pay attention to and learn about this stuff. There is a whole world of marketing strategies designed to get us to spend our money that most don’t know about.

  11. I’m on the same page as Natalie – I have a separate email account for “junk,” and it’s crazy how hard they try to entice you with the subject line. I wouldn’t fall for a credit card company missing me at all, seeing as they are just a corporate entity, but I can see how some people might think it’s a nice touch.

  12. No matter how much they will try to tell you otherwise, stores and businesses are just aiming for your wallet. As long as you can separate that out from the needs you have, you’ll be fine.

    • “…just aiming for your wallet.” Agree 100% MB. I don’t blame them for that. Just wish we were a little more conscious about how their marketing affects us.

  13. I am a sucker for my fave stores – and no doubt that includes their fantastic marketing tools like “we miss you” emails. That is why I have a separate email account for coupons that I never check unless I am planning on buying something. I do whatever I can to make shopping less of habit / focus because I do have a propensity to spend.

    • Glad to see I’m not the only one who LOVES to spend. 🙂 I like the idea of having a separate email that all those offers are sent to. Keeps the temptation from coming in front of your eyes each and every day.

  14. I get turned off so easily by insincere or sneaky advertising. But an ad that can make me laugh is the best in my books!

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