We've all been there, you get an email from a company but are not exactly sure why. I'm not talking about some funky segmentation or broad-brush promotional email - I mean an obvious what-were-they-thinking?
In a quest to increase their interaction with consumers some brands have been relentlessly pushing two types of campaigns.
The first one is a random, 'what the heck were they thinking.' Imagine getting an email with an offer that is absolutely not connected to anything you have ever done with that brand. In fact, it is so random that it makes you wonder if they even bothered to look at your past transactions or purchases.
The second type of campaign that is a little worse is the one where you think they are on to something, but the landing page is where they fool you. So many businesses are trying to get you to engage with them on social media. They put out interesting messages requesting you to follow them or join them on their social media sites. The problem is that when you click through to the social media site - there is absolutely no connection to where your interests may be.
I just had one of those with a well-know online retailer; I'm on their list but my recent purchase had nothing to do with any email I'd received - in fact it was opposite my purchase history. I got the standard transactional messages, an email receipt and then a few days later a shipping notice with the tracking information. All positive things, except littered among these valuable updates were promotions for items in the new category as well as items in past purchase categories. It was almost like the volume was turned up because I had bought something; my receipt frequency had gone from three emails a month to getting six in a week.
I'm of the opinion that the purchase should be a flag to not mail your traditional promotional campaigns. As a buyer, I'm only interested in my order and the associated details (confirmations, shipping notices are all fine.) After receipt, I'll likely be receptive to an invitation for a survey/ review but other than that I simply want what I ordered... it's almost too late to show other items or offers.
What is worse is that one of my financial institutions targets me with seasonal campaigns on getting a mortgage with them. They personalize the offer for my account. The issue I have with this campaign is that I closed this particular account with the FI more than three years ago. Yet, every few months, someone wakes up and tries to sell me something that I really can't have.
As a business, you build up trust and segment to personalize effectively. Do it well, and you can engage. If you confuse the consumer, you loose them forever.