Terri exits her vehicle and makes her way to her favorite shopping mall. Once inside she meets her best friend Carley and they stopped for one of those hot pretzels with dipping sauce while they catch up on their week. It starts to rain so the two spent more time in the mall while they waited for the storm to pass. In that moment both were glad it had rained because it gave them time to visit while shopping, but as is typical sunshine often follows rain.
Terri draped her bags over her arms and ventured back to her SUV. She used her keyless remote to open the door and entered the driver’s side and buckled up. That’s when she noticed it.
The front window was multi-colored as sales flyer and handbills oozed color onto her windshield. She tried using her windshield wipers to clear off the debris, but it simply smeared the mess over the entire surface of the window making the mess more pronounced than when she started.
“Why would someone do this to me?” she said as she slapped her fist against the steering wheel.
To be fair, the individuals placing the flyers on the windshield probably didn’t know rain was coming and there certainly were more flyers than Terri was used to seeing, but the end result was a potential consumer who would never think of purchasing a product from whoever made a mess of her SUV.
This story is a bit like unwanted email marketing. People who are new to the Internet typically think of their email box as an extension of their mailbox. The hope is that the mail received would be beneficial and personal. The belief is that email is reserved for people you actually know who will send you electronic mail that you are thrilled to receive, yet time after time emails come from people and businesses they don’t know selling products they either don’t want or would never use and the email recipient becomes a very unhappy camper and are often disillusioned about the personal nature they thought was associated with email.
It’s as if the colorful email marketing is smeared across their computer screen and they wonder, “Why would someone do this to me?” In this type of case there is the underlying feeling that their privacy has been compromised. Some may even shake their heads wondering how anyone even found their email address.
This scenario emphasizes the need to provide an opt out methods for email marketing, but it still has the feel of junk mail, telemarketers or colorful flyers stuck on the windshield after a rainstorm – an undesirable nuisance.
Many businesses are using site registration as the means of capturing email addresses. When a customer receives email marketing from these businesses they should already know about the business and their products or services.
This type of email marketing is much better received and carries with it both goodwill and a measure of trust. You may start with a smaller list, but the recipients tend to like you better.