It was my birthday earlier in the month.
My day started with an opening of birthday cards and phone calls from my children, and then it was back to writing about email marketing.
I have an email address I use for research on the subject and on Mondays I check to see what has been delivered. I read a random selection to see what is happening in the business. It is not a bad idea for you to do the same thing by subscribing to the email marketing list of your competitors. However, there is a bit of a downside.
Instead of just a list of offers I found, in addition, 19 wishing me a happy birthday in the Subject line. Further, to another email address, the one I use to see the latest email marketing offers, there were another eight. I’ve mentioned how useful pesonalisation can be, but, as exampled here, we need to beware of overkill.
I’m a big fan of autoresponders. Used intelligently they are an effective conversion tool. They have many functions. In the case of birthday wishes, the assumption is that it is there to make the recipient feel as if they are one of the family. However, if they sit in the folder amongst 18 others then any empathy is lost.
A birthday is a date that can be used to good effect. Three weeks previously I received an email from a company whose email marketing list I subscribe to and have bought from, albeit rather spasmodically. They didn’t get my dates mixed up but instead suggested items I might like as a birthday present. One they suggested I could buy for myself, the failsafe option in case, I suppose, had I not had any friends.
In the case of birthdays there is the feeling that you might as well follow the herd in case your absences is noted, but by sending an email three weeks prematurely the company emphasised they were aware of the anniversary and, and the same time, stole a march on the competition.
One thing irritated me a little. I am on the email marketing list of one company twice. I subscribed for research and then actually bought something from them. A danger of reading a number of marketing emails is that you start to buy frm some. When buying I used a different email address and, apparently, didn’t give my date of birth.
In the email congratulating me for, in essence, not being dead, I was told that they were offering me an item, software in this case, at a special price as a birthday present. So imagine my feelings when, two days later, I got an identical offer via the second email address. I hope my irritation is apparent.
It is probable that it is best to mark anniversaries such as birthdays if only to follow the crowd. However, accept that your email will probably be lost in a mass delete. How much better to take a slightly different approach, come in a bit earlier and steal a march on the opposition.