Mishaps in Email Marketing: Is This The Best We Can Do?

It is said that email marketing is the best-performing media in online marketing and the one most effective in driving sales. The stats that back it up are incredible:

It’s also said that it is extremely difficult to keep a pregnancy secret in today’s constantly-tracked, big-data online world. Read about the hoops this woman jumped through to keep that information from the big marketing machine. It’s mind-boggling what she went through to keep it an online secret.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Which makes me wonder why companies are getting it so wrong. Last week Twitter lost my marketing respect by placing me in another country. This morning I was surprised by Shutterfly to hear that I just gave birth. Really? This is such an emotional event that I was blown away by the fact that they got it wrong. As it is, they harmed my relation with their brand indefinitely and made me think twice about every purchasing anything from their family of sites.

Dave Barry once said “You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Update: it turns out that the Shutterfly error was not a big data snafu but rather a sad technical error that sent the “Congratulations on your new arrival” email to most of their mailing list. They also followed up with an apologetic email late last night saying that the email was sent in error. Still, the email hurt many people and I wonder just how many unsubscribes they got yesterday.


One thought on “Mishaps in Email Marketing: Is This The Best We Can Do?

  1. Pingback: When assumptions about a user can go too far | What it all boils down to

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