POLL: What Gets You Off Your Couch in Puerto Vallarta?


I’d like to invite you to participate in a little poll, but first, let me set two possible scenarios to see where you fit in this experiment. First scenario is as follows: You have just landed in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy your dream vacation, for which you are spending a considerable amount of your savings. You are nicely settled in your villa with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, and the house staff has already poured you a welcoming margarita. Needless to say you’ve wasted no time taking your cold-weather clothes off, replacing them with a bathing suit. After all, part of the whopping daily rate at your villa includes a tall and hunky guy blowing fresh air between your toes with a plastic straw as long as you remain reclined next to your infinity pool.

Second scenario: you are a hard-working Vallartense, who may or may not have job security given the current economic climate. Regardless, you work your butt off trying to excel at what you do. In spite of that, your energy is somewhat drained from the uncertainty of the upcoming “high” season. You have just arrived at home after a long day at work, set your cell phone in leave-me-alone mode, and have very little desire to do much more than chill out with a nice glass of Merlot and a good movie on TV.

(If neither scenario fits your reality, kindly indulge me!)

Puerto Vallarta Begs For Your Presence

Whether you are presently under the spell of all that blowing between your toes, or the latest Harry Potter DVD you picked up at Blockbuster on the way home, there are a number of public events taking place all over Puerto Vallarta and their organizers are desperately looking for an audience. Do you ever get invited to events in which you get an email message that includes an attached image of a “mini poster” of the event, along with a brief text introduction? I do. All the time. Sometimes the text is user friendly and explicit, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes the attached image promoting the event is compelling and informative, sometimes it isn’t. Invariably, I read the text in the email message before I decide whether I even want to also take a look at the attached image.

Two Recent Invites I Received

There are many different ways to (hopefully) get people’s attention. I’d like to share particulars about two of such invitations I received within the last couple of weeks, to get a sense as to how effective they might be if you were to receive them in your own in-box. The invites shared some common traits:

  • They were both for classical music performances, but didn’t include the program to be performed.
  • They both named the performers and/or ensemble, but didn’t provide any further information about them, offering no clue as to whether they were very famous or not so very famous.
  • They were both in Spanish only.

The Poll: What Gets You Off Your Butt?

OK, back to the two scenarios. You decide to open your email and come across these invitations. I’m going to translate the text that was included in both messages. After that, since I enjoy writing, I’m going to offer the one I’d write if it had been me sending the invites, which happens to be the one I would respond to most favorably. Which one of the three following approaches would make you more curious to look at the attached promotional image in the first place, and hopefully get you off your couch, out of your home/villa to actually attend the performances?

Approach # 1: Touchy-Feely

Subject: A Gift!!

Give yourselves a gift!! So you’ll feel good!! High season is coming!! And we’re going to be fine!! It’s all about attitude!! I invite you to a cultural experience!! That we so much need! I hope you won’t miss this concert! It’s divine!!

Approach # 2: Short, Sweet, and to the Point (and in ALL CAPS)

Subject: (sorry, the sender didn’t write one)




Approach #3: Paco’s Hypothetical

Subject: Invitation to Opera Recital

My name is Joe Blaux and I represent the renowned English tenor Dan DeLion, who will be performing a recital in Puerto Vallarta along with French soprano Scou Bidoux on (insert specific date) at (insert specific venue). Attached please find an invitation with all the information. Mr. DeLion and Ms. Bidou come to Vallarta after completing a successful tour through Latin America. You can learn more about them on their own website (insert website). In Puerto Vallarta, they will be performing operatic duets from the following: (insert program). I hope you will be able to attend! If you can think of friends and associates that might be interested in this recital, we’d appreciate it you’d kindly forward this message. Thanks in advance!

OK, here’s the poll! But first, a caveat: the fact that I shamelessly lean towards verbosity doesn’t necessarily mean you’d respond more favorably to my hypothetical approach! There are no winners or losers here. I am just curious to learn what makes you tic. And if you have any additional comments you’d like to share, I’m all eyes. Type away!

Image source: Flickr Commons

4 thoughts on “POLL: What Gets You Off Your Couch in Puerto Vallarta?

  1. Loved this Paco. While entertaining, it also brings up a very important point: the message delivery can delight or despair! I personally despise receiving half messages (with missing information) or lengthy emails that seem like they were written by someone with the enthusiasm of a rock (nothing against rocks btw). Nowadays, our inboxes are so overstuffed with ‘requests’ it’s very easy to simply hit ‘delete’. I hope this is read by many and by all means, if I ever send YOU such an invite….please call me on it! Thanks


    1. You know, I did not want to get into the fact that “Touchie Feelie” actually arrived less than 8 hrs. prior to the performance, it included a dinner, and one had to pay over $1,000 pesos for the priviledge. But there’s no need to get ugly! 😉


  2. Definitely the Paco version. I’m a scenario #1 and it would take a really good informational email to make me even consider moving away from the pool and the hunk with that straw. After all, I’ve just arrived; why would I think about going somewhere to see an unknown performance given by…who? Oh, of course if it is la Senora Scou Bidoux I’d be there in a heartbeat. I was lucky enough to catch her wonderful rendition of the aria La Llorona at La Scala a couple of years back.


    1. Hola Angeline!
      Thanks for reading me. Dame Bidoux is so very fond of that La Scala performance, and sends her regards. Enjoy scenario #1, and if all that fresh air blowing between your toes begins to get on your nerves, please send José my way. God knows, I could use some TLC myself…


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