Once in a while, a great idea comes along. And, sometimes, a great idea becomes so well-accepted and even overused that it becomes totally ineffective.
Take Pre-Paid Legal for example. It is a fantastic idea - a low monthly fee to cover basic legal expenses, including the writing of attorney letters in the event of disputes or other issues with another party.
The problem, though, is how overused and abused the letter-writing service has become.
I used to get an attorney letter maybe once a year, if that. Now it's become a weekly event and sometimes even more frequent than that. And guess what I do the instant I receive an attorney letter? You guessed it - I Google the law firm, and if Pre-Paid Legal comes up, I ignore the letter and throw it in the trash.
I know full well that those letters come from people who pay the $25/month membership fee and who do not have the resources or the intent to pursue a lawsuit against me (Pre-Paid Legal does not cover the filing of lawsuits, only defense in the event you are sued).
And, to make matters worse, people are firing off those letters over anything and everything. I've even had customers who had a problem downloading an e-book, just as an example, who, instead of contacting my helpdesk to get the issue resolved in a matter of minutes, instead had a threatening Pre-Paid Legal letter sent to me.
This is what happens when a good idea becomes too accessible to the masses. Perhaps it's time for Pre-Paid Legal to raise their fees, or curb or even eliminate the letter-writing service, which has now become totally ineffective because it's become so overused and because people like me now ignore them entirely. It's an easy selling point because petty argumentative people salivate at the prospect of having an attorney threaten people on their behalf for $25/month, but come on, let's use the service for what it was originally intended for - coverage of legitimate legal expenses.
Remember, exclusivity is one of the most powerful marketing tactics in existence. Dilution and overuse destroy exclusivity. Having an attorney write a letter on your behalf used to be the private province of the affluent, but now that the common masses have access to it, it just doesn't work anymore.