Stupid Email Tricks or Welcome to 1997

colar bearEver get email that just makes you wonder who’s minding the shop?  I was looking to redeem some My Coke Rewards points for a free T-shirt and couldn’t find anything in my size.  I filled out an on-site question and got a response back in 3 minutes.

This was good!  Unfortunately it was a response that only told me they were going to respond and triggered some laughter on my part.

The email took me right back to the early days of the first CRM systems and looked like a programmer’s “default” response that nobody at Coke‘s vendor could be bothered to adjust.  Well, it’s only been two years since the program launched, so perhaps I need to give them some time.

In all honesty, I truly believe that Coke will put the right sizes back in stock and I’ll be happy.  I’ve never had anything other than a good experience with their products and practically marinade in Coke Zero.  I just wish they’d read their emails before they sent them out.

Summary and key takeaways

  1. Check all your customer communications by putting yourself in their place.  That means log in at home, at night and do the strange and wonderful things that our customers do.  See how you respond and see if it makes sense.
  2. Put your customer communications on the wall.  The best idea I’ve heard is to set up a room and lay out everything you do to communicate with your customers, in the order in which it’s sent.  On the stuff that doesn’t make sense, is off brand strategy or just ugly, tag it with a red sticker.  Then start punching through in priority order, particularly the things that hurt conversion or drive down ARPU or unit of sale.

Read my email chain with KO after the jump.
Creative Commons License photo credit: myuibe

Subject:     Re: My Coke Rewards General Assistance
Date:     June 12, 2008 8:30:34 PM EDT


Well you already did respond to my email and I think three minutes is pretty quick, so thanks.

However, given the choice between a quick response and a slightly slower, but complete answer, I’ll take the latter.



Mark Pilipczuk
703.350.4720 office cell

On Jun 12, 2008, at 7:48 PM, MyCoke Rewards General wrote:

We appreciate your interest in My Coke Rewards and will respond to your email as quickly as possible.

We thank you for your patience.


The Coca-Cola Company


—–Original Message—–
Sent: 6/12/2008 7:45:50 PM
Subject: My Coke Rewards General Assistance


I’m interested in redeeming my points for a T-shirt, but none of the ones you have are in my size (XL).  When will you have sizes other than S and M available?


Mark Pilipczuk

Leave a Reply