Bah, Humbug!

I can’t believe I’m writing this post before Thanksgiving!  I already have a monumental case of holiday email marketing fatigue.

My inbox is already so crowded with Black Friday promotions, it takes me twice as long to get through it. Lord only knows what I’ll face over the weekend, when companies ramp up with Cyber Monday offers.

And I’m just talking email. Mobile alerts? I’m going to need a flak jacket.

The conundrum
On one hand, real-time offers are great. On the other hand, way too many businesses still don’t do enough segmentation (matching specific offers to specific recipients) or any at all – so the relevancy of those real-time offers can be pretty low.

According to Pew Research, as of May 2010,  94% of all internet users sent or read email online and 72% bought products online. So far this season, some companies are already behaving as if capturing the sales of the 22% that forms the gap is life or death. With the economy hurting, companies desperate for revenue are already in bombardment mode. Sophisticated, pretty spam; cheap to send and worth it to them if they just hook a few consumer fish.

We’re all becoming pretty adept at scanning through our inboxes to find the things that matter – one person’s prize is another one’s poison – but it still irks me.

What do you think?

I may already be tired of the onslaught, but what about you?

Do you appreciate a deluge of real-time offers? And even more important, do these offers prompt you to buy? Or has your delete button become a constant, somewhat annoying best friend? What is your experience?  Inquiring minds want to know.

One response to “Bah, Humbug!

  1. Most of this email marketing is noise to me, as I suspect is the case for most people. I identify what I’m interested in buying then wait for the best offers (DSW, are you listening?)

    Also, I have the luxury of not “needing” to buy anything so I don’t feel pressure.

    When I am ready to purchase something though, what I tend to be turned off by is the usability–when the marcom people have done a good job of communicating what the deals are, a quick scan of the email is sufficient to see if I need to engage further. If they haven’t done a good job, I’m likely to get annoyed, or not even bother if I’m forced to click through to see what the deal is.

    Finally, I try to remember that I’ve signed up to receive email from the companies who are sending it to me so I can’t really complain that they are sending me stuff, but I often do periodic housekeeping on my subscriptions as my interests/needs change.

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