Every so often I feel stabby… okay fairly often. But one of the things that makes me most stabby is bad junk email. Advertisers seem to think they still live in the age of television. That they must pump a message out to as many people as possible and that the message must be the same. If find this extremely frustrating given the vastness of data available at our fingertips.
For example this showed up in my inbox today.
While the woman is attractive (and the $280 shirts arguable). I am neither a woman, straight, nor an Yves Saint Laurent shopper. While I have shopped at Holt Renfrew, provided them with my personal details and handed over my email address I have done so with the expectation of some customization in the email.
You may recall, dear reader, my previous posting on this topic. Holt Renfrew has tripped on the same hurdle that Shoppers Drug Mart did. At least they didn’t pretend to customize the email instead they just blasted it without regard to everyone on the list. Since the email is of no relevance or interest to me it was deleted. If Holt Renfrew does this too often I will simply remove myself from the list.
The shame is that email is very cheap, so little or no thought is given to blasting out this sort of advertising. If it cost them $3 per email I bet they would be a lot more selective about who gets it. There would also be a follow up strategy for those people who respond. The data is available to make marketing emails meaningful and so each customer could receive an offer that targets them.
Now compare this email to the one that was sent by Chapter/Indigo. This email is also un-targeted. However, rather than make an offer I am not interested in, they simply inform me that they are having a sale.
In this case, while not something I am interested in per se, it might be about something I am interested in. By keeping the email simply about a sale Chapters/Indigo hits the massive market they are after. However, if it is too vague, and vague too often, then I will unsubscribe from this as well.
It is a shotgun approach to marketing.
Amazon gets a little better at this, but there is no follow up or modification of the targeting. They clearly appreciate the value of data and customization. Amazon sends me emails based on the types of books I have purchased before, however that still segments me into a group even if I don’t respond.
I get an email for business type books, I get another one for gay books, I get another one for music, I get another one for fiction all because I have purchased one of each of these books on Amazon at sometime in my life.
The problem is the system seems to be is stupid. Just because I have purchased a baby book on Amazon in the past, doesn’t mean I have a baby or want additional baby books. If I don’t respond to the twenty other offers you have sent then don’t send it again because it was probably a one-time thing.
I know the data is out there, I know the development can be done, now we just need someone to put it all together and rock the market with some kick-ass, relevant marketing.