Good and Bad: Real life examples of spamming

I decided to write this piece because I have received a couple of sales emails from two brands that are adamant that they should get their message across.

I’m not naming and shaming these brands but I would like to use them as an example of when email marketing makes you hate a brand.

I’m first starting with unsolicited emails from a brand that’s running a promotion. I think it’s 10 days of Christmas ran by Netflorist. Netflorist quickly bloomed into the the South African market and became the preferred choice as they do same day deliveries, cover the whole of South Africa and have a massive range of goods that you can personalise and send as well as partnering up with rewards partners to provide you with benefit points when purchasing. I actually used their service about two days ago to send a birthday gift. This campaign counting down/up to Christmas has caused me to unsubscribe to their email because I got annoying emails every morning. At their level, with their caliber, I don’t think that they need to be doing email marketing this aggressively. If this campaign focused on their website and social media, I think they would get more traction off it. If they wanted to maximise on email marketing, especially on a campaign like this, they should segment their email database. What I mean by this is that they need to target people that are on different buying stages. For example, I am not a new customer. I use this service for birthdays, anniversaries, and for company use. So I don’t think I should be targeted for this campaign because they should see that I frequent their business every month. This campaign should be targeted to customers who frequent their site but never buy. These people are nearing the closing stage of the buying cycle and refreshing the brand every morning should bring them closer to closing the sale.

Again, I am not naming and shaming, I saw this as a great opportunity to demonstrate a real life example where email marketing can improve.

I’ve worked for a lot of companies that have this giant list of email and say to me “you can start emailing these addresses”. It’s never a goal to segment the database. Some of those emails will unsubscribe, some will just let them come and anti-spam will eventually move them to spam permanently. Segmenting an email database list is the first lesson you should take from me about email marketing. Flooding the market is not the smartest choice.

Now I bring you to the second brand. Groupon left the South African market in the last couple of weeks. One day, they closed their doors, access to the app was denied and they issued a statement about Groupon’s global growth goal which did not include South Africa. Okay, we were all sad but my instincts is telling me that a new company took over Groupon South Africa, renamed itself and started with the same deals that Groupon had. It is called Hyperli.

Why do I suspect all of this? I am being inundated with mails of deals from hyperli. For work, I bought a Groupon off my work address and I used my personal email for private purchases. Both of them get about 2-3 emails from Hyperli a day. So I went into one of the mails and unsubscribed when I saw that I unsubscribed from the “Johannesburg” list. Then a day later, got another email. When I unsubscribed from that one, it was the “Cape Town” list. Then again the “Hot/Daily Deals” list. I’m happy to say that the mailers have stopped but that brings me to my next lesson: Don’t mix your lists. I don’t live in Cape Town, so it would extremely hard for me to go get food from the bistro there while here in Johannesburg. It was unsolicited advertising. I get it, you’re a new brand that’s trying to gauge customer feelings and get the brand name out there. But since unsubscribing, I haven’t even thought of the brand because the last thing I remember is 100 emails I didn’t even ask for. It’s become cheap to buy databases but if you do not do your research properly, a potential customer like me, will just slip away. Generally the next time I visit the brand will be out of curiosity of what deals are out there. But bet your bottom dollar, I will not subscribe to anything on the site. This actually brings up another lesson on email marketing. It’s not always viable to buy email addresses.

Here’s a great example of email marketing. Keeping to the theme of deals, One day only sends me a mail once every morning about the deals that expire at midnight. This is something I chose to subscribe to. But because I know that they have ONE DAY ONLY deals, I know that I will get one mail from them a day. No other mails except after I’ve purchased and they send invoices and delivery information. But they DO NOT mail me for anything else. Here’s the last lesson for the day: Send information when you need to.

Remember that you need to pay special attention to the open, click through and delivery rates. All basic email marketing software and programs have this information ready for you. These are your stepping stones to email marketing success.

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