Category Archives: marketing

How to make friends with ex-friends

Over the years, I’ve signed up to receive a ton of newsletters by email. I just prefer getting them delivered to my inbox over using an RSS feed or some other aggregator. Recently though, I decided to clean my email box up a bit and focus just on the newsletters that I was actually reading and enjoying. And did I ever learn a lot about unsubscribing. The options range from very friendly to very unfriendly.

  1. “Manage your subscriptions here”: This option at the bottom of the newsletter made me feel like the author was deliberately trying to hide the fact that you COULD unsubscribe. Perhaps if they didn’t say the word, no one would actually unsubscribe. Bad.
  2. “Sign in to unsubscribe”: Another tactic was making me login to an account which I had created years ago and long since forgotten and could no longer access. Bad.
  3. “Do not reply” email addresses: Are you kidding me? You sent me an email newsletter and you won’t even read what I email back to you? And when I try to email you back, you send me another email apologizing for not reading it and telling me that you aren’t reading this one either? Bad.
  4. Reply with an unsubscribe: Finally an option where i could just reply and type the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line or body and someone would actually act on it for me. Better.
  5. “Click here to unsubscribe” and chat with me: A few newsletters gave what seemed to be a one click option but I still had to identify which newsletter I wanted to be unsubscribed from.  Well, how about the newsletter I just clicked in from? Better.
  6. “Click here to unsubscribe”: This is the only way to do it. Any newsletter should always have a very clear one click option. It should say “click here to unsubscribe” and as soon as I click on it, I should be unsubscribed. No logins, no explanations, just unsubscribe me. This is how to make friends with me even though i’m breaking it off BEST!

I guess all i’m asking is for a little respect. In this age of too much email and too much spam, make it just a little bit easier for me to clean up my inbox. Please.

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  • Shy Friendly Shopping

    Calling all extraverted marketers, shop keepers, and restauranteers.

    The world consists of people who are different than you. Have you heard of the personality characteristic called shyness? It seems that many extraverts can’t even conceive of what it must be like to be shy. I suspect most people don’t even think about it, but stores and restaurants are usually designed for extraverted people. So here is some free advice.

    Shy and Hide

    1) Do not cover your windows full of posters and curtains and crap. If I can’t see what I’m getting into, I ain’t going in.
    2) Do not stand in the doorway. I won’t go in even if you step aside. It’s just too late.
    3) If you must greet people at the door, do it quickly and walk away. Otherwise, I’ll walk away.
    4) Do not engage me in conversation or light chit chat. I don’t want to do it, nor am I able to do it. See result of #1.
    5) Do not stalk me with eager attentiveness. In fact, go to the opposite side of the store.
    6) Stalk me from very, very afar, glancing awkwardly out of the corner of your eye until you see me look up and search you out.
    7) Price everything. If I have to talk to someone, you’ve just lost a sale.
    8 ) Do not ask any extra questions when I go to pay. Don’t ask for my zip code. Don’t ask if I want to sign up for your club. Don’t ask how my day was. Don’t ask for my phone number. (Unless you’re cute. Are you cute?)
    9) Do not sell your services by telephone. Do you seriously think i answer it?

    And that, my friends, is the short list. I’m sure other folks have some suggestions. I’d love to read your rules so share them here.

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  • My Secret Relationship via Twitter

    Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

    Image via CrunchBase

    I’m in a relationship so secret, my spouse doesn’t even know about it. In fact, I didn’t even know about it!

    The last time I moved, I used the services of a realtor. He was absolutely wonderful and I recommend him every chance I get. (If you’re looking in central Toronto, let me know and I’ll give you his contact info.) He knew everything about the neighbourhood, about the style and build and quality of every type of house in the neighbourhood. It took a long time, but I eventually found a house I liked. I got the standard congratulations note from him and a quick follow-up to see if everything was ok. But, a couple months later, I got a phone call. He wanted to know when my birthday was so he could give me a call and say Happy Birthday. It seems not only did he sell houses, he also built relationships. However, I was only in the market for a house. My friend card was full up.
    東環相依 Sweet n Indulgency

    Seems to me that Twitter has done the same thing. Other than the DMs selling you junk and telling you you’ve won free junk, read a few of the automated DMs that you receive but never pay attention to.

    • Thank you for the follow! Look forward to connecting with you!
    • “Thanks for following, look forward to building a relationship with you.”
    • “Isn’t it fun to get to know each other?”
    • Hi, I look forward to your tweets & keeping you inspired

    I’m sure most folks are trying to be polite, but I think they have mistaken my follow for a personalized request for friendship or a business relationship. No, i’m really not interested in the minute details of your life. I truly do not hang on to every link you share nor internalize every thought you have.  In fact, i probably won’t even see most of your tweets because i’m following so many people. i quite like the fact that any time i log on, i’m presented with a random bunch of tweets from a random bunch of people. It must be the researcher in me desperate for a random sample.

    So why am I following you in particular? Because among all the tweets you send out I expect that one or two will be of possible interest or just be plain funny or silly.  You did it at least once before. Assuming that the best predictor future behaviour is past behaviour, luck is on my side. So thanks for thinking I wanted to be  your best bud but as I said, my friend card is full up.


    Negative Nelly :)

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  • Consumer Segmentation Gone Wrong

    Don’t get me wrong. I know why they do it. Company’s want to make sure that when someone visits their website, the site is as relevant as possible. They want to ensure that what you see on their website is what you’ll see in the store. But, things have gone just a bit too far for me. For instance, Home Depot won’t even let me look at their website unless I tell them my zip code. Are they not aware that zip codes are PII (personally identifiable information)? They don’t even give you an option to see a generic site. Your only option is to lie, something I’m completely against given I am an expert in survey data quality. So basically, when I shop around, I don’t end up buying at Home Depot.

    Here’s another example. Cheerios won’t let me look at their site unless I tell them my age and how old my children are. Sure, I could just choose one of the four sites that I think would be most interesting, but dang it, I just want to see their website. Where’s the generic site for people who want to maintain some sense of privacy, the site where people know their demos aren’t being tracked? Nowhere that I see.
    Segmentation is a great tool. It lets you understand people better and provide better services. But please, don’t segment me out of your store. Unless you don’t want my money.

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