All bark, no bite

A screenshot of
A screenshot of

Last night I received a direct mail piece promising discounts off my first purchase at, a website that delivers pet supplies.

But there's a problem: I don't have a pet.

I do, however, adore make-up and skincare products, so a circular from Beauty Bar, Wag's partner site, would have been a truly enticing mailer to receive. I'm also on a kitchen appliance kick (I just got my first big-girl apartment), so would have been great, too. In fact, I probably would have spent my lunch break perusing the sites for loot, expecting to make my big buy tonight. I assume Wag sent me its mailer in the first place because I'm a regular customer on, a site that, like Beauty Bar, shares the same parent company: Quidsi Solutions LLC.

So, I'm curious: How does Quidsi decide who to send which promotional mailer? Are there mailers for other Soap-esque sites? I wonder. Because Wag wasted some postage on me.

This is certainly nothing out of the ordinary in the direct marketing world. Ads are mis-targeted all the time. I attended a conference where an audience member wanted to know why Pandora kept popping up dating ads — his wife was starting to get suspicious. And we've all had our share of Facebook ads that seem to make little sense. Mine, for example, have included lots of gardening lately. I live in a high-rise apartment building.

Although, Wag, I admit it: I really do want a puppy. I melt and fawn over them — perhaps too much. So maybe Wag is clairvoyant, knowing what I want, before I can have it. Maybe it's found the Holy Grail. But, more likely, this is just faulty targeting.

That said, a note to friends who may be reading this: Add a Welsh Corgi to my birthday list, please.

I've got a coupon to use.

Erin Dostal is a staff reporter at Direct Marketing News.
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