Quit bugging me

hand over mouthKeeping with the theme of email marketing (see this post about spam from a couple of days ago), this time from the customer’s perspective.

Every year or so I order a few IceBreaker and Bridgedale items from Sierra Trading Post, an outdoor clothing outlet store. Over the course of a year they email me pretty often with details of sales and special ‘we miss you’ discount codes. This is great and I’ll usually order using one of these codes, saving 25% off their already excellent prices. What bugs me is that right after I order I seem to invoke some sort of mailing avalanche. I get an email every one or two days, with another discount code, or a reminder that the discount code they sent me two days ago is about to expire.

I don’t want to unsubscribe from their list because I like receiving the codes, just not right now, plus it seems rude to unsubscribe when they’ve saved me so much over the years.

Meet me half way
What I want is an option that is somewhere between unsubscribing and having to receive then delete/ignore their emails for a while. What if there was an option for “keep me on the list, but don’t send me stuff for a couple of months, unless it’s a really impossible-to-refuse offer”.

I am not a number
Mailing frequency is a difficult thing to get right, it’s tough to gauge what’s best, but mailing managers (and the services they use) need to realise that the people they’re sending to are human beings, not just a number on a list.

Respect your audience
Seth Godin’s post a couple of days ago sparked by his experience with Drugstore.com highlights the fact that you need to respect your subscribers and the fact that every time you send them an email you ask for a piece of their attention. It is essential to keep things relevant to them and recognise their needs. Sometimes they need you to back off, not forever, but for a while.

The next opportunity I get with a client to work on their mailing list practices I’m going to implement a ‘chill period’ whereby someone can say ‘yes, I want to be on your list, but don’t send me stuff for 2 months’.

Image credit: M Lyn

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