I wasn't bothered. I probably do approximate to a target customer, so my knowing about them, and feeling vaguely friendly towards them, would count as a success in their terms, and that was fine by me. But how did they do it? I'm as resistant as the next man to the relentless, attention-seeking, faux-cheerful, white noise from social-media utilities and other users of the online-marketing playbook, so what was different this time?
I figured it out. Not difficult, and it was nothing special, but to me, the interesting part is that it depended on a context in which I hadn't noticed them. Yes - 'hadn't'.
There's a blog I follow. The subject lines come up on Facebook, I click on them, trigger cookies, read them. No, I don't subscribe to them. Just - whenever, on impulse.
I don't particularly notice who writes them. There isn't any of that "and by the way, have I mentioned the thing I'm trying to get you to buy?" stuff clumsily worked in. Just an interesting question, concisely answered.
Yes, of course they're put out by the marketing-services consultancy. And of course it's very simple, and you might think it obvious. The 'take-away' for me is the inverse correlation between the amount of self-promotion involved, and the impact of the self-promotion on me. Almost as if they were genuinely motivated to answer the question they were posing.
It always comes back to content. But maybe it comes back to content without 'ulterior' motive. In the sense: make it useful, and forget the clumsy hints.