(I’m no break this week, so please enjoy this post from August 2017. I’ll be back with more tips next week. Until then, have a safe and happy holiday).
Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer.
There’s a certain pet store that sends me multiple emails every day. I don’t want them to sue me, so I won’t name them, but I will list everything they are doing wrong.
1) Sending Daily Newsletters
This is so annoying that my brother (who has my dog’s brother) stopped buying from this very large chain. They are constantly flooding my inbox with “deals,” offers, and incentives. It’s extremely irritating and makes me have a very low opinion of this company. I don’t open the vast majority of their emails, unless they’re having a sale. Even then I’ve learned to be careful, which leads me to my next point.
2) Promoting “Sales” That Aren’t Really Sales
This company is constantly telling me that they’re having a sale on the brands they know I prefer, which is just insulting. Do they really think I won’t notice?
Customers have filed class action lawsuits against retailers claiming items are “on sale” even when the “sale” price is the same as the regular price, or the items never seem to be not “on sale.”
I’m not suing this particular pet supply chain (yet), but I have noticed that the supplies I need always seem to be the same price, regardless of whether I’ve been alerted to a sale via email. That’s called a scam.
3) Failing to Provide Options
Have you ever heard the phrase, “The customer is always right”? This company has not.
As soon as I received my second consecutive email from them, I tried to change my newsletter subscriber settings so I would only receive updates when they had a deal for me or so that I would only get emails once a week or once a month.
Not an option. My choices were to remain a subscriber and get inundated with emails I don’t want or completely unsubscribe from all their updates. When I wrote their so-called “customer service” department about it, they completely blew me off. They told me how to unsubscribe from all newsletters(which I had already figured out, thank you very much), or that I could keep subscribing to all their endless, mindless updates.
4) Tricking Your Customers Into Opening Your Email
Despite all this, I do still want to know when they have actual deals (it’s easy enough to differentiate their legitimate deals from their scam “deals,” even just from the headline). I tend not to open any of their emails until I start running low on something and/or it looks like one of their “sales” might be legitimate.
One time they tricked me. The headline said something about how my deal was about to expire, and since I am signed up for their rewards program, I thought it might be in regards to that.
It was not. It was just another scam “sale” they were running and they made me click all the way through to their website to find out that their scam-mail had been deliberately deceptive.
So they got another open AND another click to their website. Good for them. Those numbers will both look good when they check their stats. But they did not get a sale.
Getting someone to your website is not the same as getting them to buy something off your website, which is the ultimate goal. They can pester me all day every day (and they do), but that won’t increase the amount of money I spend there. I still have a limited budget and a limited need for pet supplies, and I don’t have to buy them all from a large chain.
Like I said, I do still get emails from this extremely obnoxious company, so I guess I can’t really testify to the ineffectiveness of these tactics, except to say that they can get away with it because they’re a large corporation and large corporations can get away with being super obnoxious, especially under an administration that favors Big Business over individuals.
Small businesses cannot.
Small businesses don’t have the monopoly on the market that large, well-established companies have, and even what they do have isn’t much of a monopoly. Like I said, my brother no longer gets their emails and he no longer shops there. That means the giant pet supply chain lost out on thousands of dollars of revenue over the next 10-15 years because they care more about statistics than valuing their customers as human beings.
I have also been known to buy pet supplies from Amazon rather than the obnoxious pet supply chain. It’s usually cheaper, and when I don’t shop at either large corporation, I’m lucky to live in an area with plenty of small businesses around (not to mention a very dog-friendly neighborhood), so the independent pet supply stores are easily available to me. We buy all our dog treats from one of these independent stores. Between the two of us, it’s around $100-$200 per month that we’re not spending at the super obnoxious large chain that doesn’t know how to build relationships with its customers (yes, our dogs are very spoiled: they get the good stuff and they get a lot of it).
The point is, I have lots of options, and when I need something, the company I know lies to me on a regular basis will be my last stop.
If you want to know how I think a business should be running their email campaign, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page. You’ll never miss an update, never be tricked into clicking through to my website for content you don’t want, and never be lied to about when I’m running a deal. If you have any other questions about content marketing, let’s chat.