I like to get informational things in the mail that also get my attention to make me want to open it. So if I’m interested, I like to be able to just keeping reading about something right away. A 30-second commercial might get my interest, but I can’t get all the information I want, and can never remember how to find out more.”

- Helen W., 79
Lamoni, Iowa

I can’t say that I have a favorite marketing tactic, but I can tell you what I really don’t like. I’m a big fan of the anti-spam law, and have even turned in one particularly annoying company for not taking me off its list after I asked them to. I feel pretty much the same about telemarketers. I’m also not a big fan of junk mail, and I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting it, despite all the alarming statements they put on envelopes designed to get you to open them. I’m not as mean as I sound; I would just rather get recommendations from people and then do my own research.”

- Walt B., 68
Denver

I listen to a lot of public radio like we old folk tend to do. I love that there are no commercials, but they usually do a few quick thank-yous to their sponsors or underwriters, I guess they’re called. I hear a lot of sponsorships from insurance companies and lawyers, real estate firms and landscapers. It’s all servicetype stuff, but I like knowing these companies help pay for public radio and I usually remember who they are if I need a particular thing. Well, I always try to remember them first.”

- James B., 76
Janesville, Wis.

If I get a really interesting-looking letter in the mail, I’ll always open it. The more creative-looking, the better – it can’t just be a business-type envelope. Years ago I got a really neat letter announcing a fund-raiser for a small zoo, and it was kind of like a pop-up card with different endangered animals. I thought that was really creative, and it got me to donate.”

- Anonymous, 54
Casper, Wyo.