It’s that time of year again… the beloved holiday season. Here in the states, this past weekend and the infamous Black Friday kicked off the annual holiday shopping extravaganza. Recent history and the growth of ecommerce has turned what used to be a day into an entire week plus of the “best deals of the year” for all your holiday shopping needs.
I don’t know about you, but I personally have been bombarded with what feels like hundreds of emails from brands I know and like (ie. I opted into their list). Most of the time I don’t mind getting their emails especially if on occasion I have a look at the ‘recommended product’ of the week, or take advantage of the coupons especially when I’m planning to shop there anyway.
However, this last week of multiple emails a day from the same brands has really started to get on my nerves. I find myself talking out loud to my iphone saying things like “yes Old Navy, I know you’re having a 50% off everything sale this weekend and I’m already planning to stop by on my Black Friday adventure. No need to email me again 10 more times before I get there.”
Maybe it’s because I’ve also watched their commercials on TV, heard them on Pandora, and even saw the Amy Schumer ad on Instagram, that my annoyance is heightened. They’d probably say their omni-channel strategy is working and I can’t say that I would wholly disagree. But I would love to know when these brands will get it right with contact management and personalization, and give me a better way to interact with them.
My recourse? I clicked on the “unsubscribe” in their email, and fortunately I was presented with a “pick my preferences” page. My options were very limited to high level categories. No, “thanks but no thanks on this offer” or “yup, I got it no need to tell me twice a day for the next 5 days.” Granted these are very specific, but wouldn’t it be nice if my preferences were actually tailored to me?
At least Old Navy gives me some ability to choose my preference. It’s better than giving me an unsubscribe only option. There are many brands that I’m less fond of where when the bombardment kicked in, it was an easy decision to unsubscribe especially when I didn’t have any other choices.
It’s important in today’s digital world for brands – B2C and B2B – to give their audience the ability to choose how they want to interact with you. It’s quickly becoming the baseline, the same way good UX/UI is table stakes for web and mobile. Which means your marketing automation solution should make it easy for you to collect your audience’s preferences – frequency, topics of interest, and channel – then build communication strategies and tactics with the customer in mind. If you’re not doing that today, it’s likely something you’ll want to make sure your team is making progress on in 2017.