Tag Archives: systems

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

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Al Pacino and direct response marketing

17179001_a697e76604_o1.jpgI’ve recently received several direct response efforts that are unfortunately poor examples of our science and craft.  But they provide some important lessons that we should all take into account when preparing our next campaigns, whether they be acquisition, retention or winback efforts.

The two efforts I’m going to write about appear to suffer from at least one flaw that I try to address with clients and employees.  I call it “fingertips.”

By that, I mean that the nuts and bolts and detail of the marketing effort or analysis need to flow from the written page or the computer monitor through your eyes, be processed by your brain and then exit via your fingertips to the email, instant message, Excel spreadsheet, etc.  It’s not about forwarding the print production schedule you get from your printer or assigning the analysis of the media plan to your least-experienced employee because it’s tedious.  Having “fingertips” means you know the detail because you’ve not only seen it, but processed it and then had it exit via your keyboard.

I didn’t see the “fingertips” of the marketing managers in these efforts.  Al Pacino, in his famous rant at Kevin Spacey in the movie  Glengarry Glen Ross would have put it more bluntly.

“Where did you learn your trade?”
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