One of my biggest prejudices in e-commerce was e-mail marketing. I hate spam. Hate it. I used to get over 1000 spam messages a day. I hate people trying to sell me stuff…
And yet, I still like to be informed of news and offers from companies I like. E-mail marketing is huge business for us; we are always finding surprises in the amount of orders we receive from specific campaigns. I am biased more towards text e-mails, but HTML e-mails get the best results. The numbers are there and I can’t argue them.
What happens though during the holiday season? What happens when a company you like ends up spamming the shit out of your inbox and even though you want to be informed about their products, you can’t stand two or three e-mails a day with a slightly better offer from that company than the day before.
I like Brookstone. They have some neat stuff. I made a recent purchase online and signed up for their Hard-To-Find Tools e-mails because I like those sort of gadgets. Since then however, they have spammed the living hell out of my email box to the point where I am sick of it. They even have sent me two catalogs so far. After my second e-mail from them today, I unsubscribed. I’m a lost revenue potential. You blew it with your aggressive marketing. Way to go, winners. You’ve almost lost a customer for life, one who you didn’t have to hard sell. I was already a fan. However, sending me an e-mail everyday for the entire month of November is pretty fucking annoying. Especially when nothing really changed but your offers.
Now, Apple sends out an e-mail to me at least once a week during the holidays, but they are all useful and unique campaigns, pointing out gift guides or notifying me of their recent iPod 101 section is really cool. Again though, I haven’t bought anything, so what is that worth? I’m not annoyed but I’m not buying anything either. Granted, the Apple e-mails are just good customer service, so you could justify it that way, but for the sake of argument let’s not in this instance.
So where’s the compromise? How do you not annoy a customer but keep them coming back for more purchases, especially this time of year? How about a way to set the frequency of how I receive e-mails, so I don’t opt-out of your e-file completely? We’re going to be working on that in the coming year at the day job, and that makes me happy because I now know what it is like on the other end of the pipe as a consumer; I would hate to think we’re annoying people who already like us.
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
Keep up to date with my email newsletter. Newsletters are sent at least quarterly.
Stay up to date with my Feed in your favorite newsreader!
Check out who is linking to me with my Technorati Profile.