For all of the money that Warner poured into advertising in its various forms, he was not unmindful of the impact of personal communication with potential and existing customers. In the 19th Century, much the same as in the 21st, people respond best to marketing on a personal level. This may have been even more important in Warner’s time, because people actually sat down and wrote letters to one another. Consequently, receiving personal correspondence from a merchant might well help close the deal. The above picture is an example of what one might have received in response to a letter to the Warner’s Safe Remedies Company. As you can see, very little space is wasted and the envelope is emblazoned with the image of the Safe Remedies Building, perhaps second only to the “Safe” as Warner’s trademark.
Undoubtedly, this envelope contained yet more information to entice the prospective purchaser. This flow of information was designed to establish a personal connection with the recipient. After all, you are more likely to buy something from someone you know and trust than from a complete stranger. Warner knew this and exploited it as well as any other patent medicine manufacturer of the era. He wanted his potential customers to see Warner’s Safe Remedies as a source of helpful information that might not be readily available to them otherwise. This explains why his annual almanacs were so popular. They were crammed full of information (some of it accurate, but a lot that was not) and offers of assistance.
One of the perenial offers that appears in Warner’s Safe Remedies advertising was for a urine analysis. For example, in his 1890 Almanac entitled “Safe Points,” Warner again extended this offer to his customers:
It is impossible to say whether a drop of the gallons of urine that showed up at the Safe Remedies Building was ever really analyzed. More likely, the recipient received a form in response to his or her submission that detailed the dire state of his or her health. Fortunately, a return to good health was within grasp provided the person promptly purchase and consume a bottle (or bottles) of Safe Kidney & Liver Cure or Diabetes Cure or whichever Warner’s Safe Cure pertained.
This offer of help and information required an investment of time and money on the part of the consumer, but, at the same time, helped Warner close the deal. In effect, he was saying “I will help you, provided you follow my advice.” Many thousands of consumers did just that, making Warner a very wealthy man.