Take a lesson from Game Stop. Their automated system called me today and left a voice mail. It got my attention right off the bat with, "Attention Halo fans!" Every other automated telemarketing pitch I've ever received on my cell phone was immediately deleted or promptly hung up on.

But here was one that knew exactly what my gaming passion was and followed up with exactly the information I needed to make a purchasing decision right there. Right then.

"Pre-order your copy of Halo 3 today ... just announced ... available in 3 versions. Regular! Collectors!! And Legendary!!!"

Sign me up for Halo 3 Legendary Edition with Halo Spartan Mjolnir Mark VI Helmet right now! I don't even know where I'm going to put that thing. It's huge.

Why was this effective? Game Stop understands my customer profile. They've paid attention to my buying habits. They delivered a marketing message that was tuned exactly to what I needed to hear to make a decision.

I stopped in at my local Game Stop tonight (which, conveniently enough is in the same parking lot as Home Depot, so I was able to mask my trip to "the dealer" under the guise of needing pluming supplies to fix a leaky bathroom sink. Heck, I even took the kids with me. Bonus points for giving my wife a break!)

I was charged only a modest fee for my pre-order. Seemed reasonable enough. Then I had the sense to ask how much, exactly, is the Legendary Edition. "$100 bucks," the cute girl behind the counter informed me. Did I even flinch? Nope. Heck, we even traded XBOX Live gamer tags.

Kudos to Game Stop for running an effective telemarketing campaign that got me to buy not one but two high-end game packages from them. I also pre-ordered Gears of War which is available next Tuesday. Go buy it and look for me online. My gamertag is kevinha.

Got a successful telemarketing story? Share it with me here.

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