Im certainly not a typical email user in general, but my personal mailbox is probably fairly typical in aspect. There are 9000 emails in my inbox, going back to 2002. It’s a mixture of a lot of spam, notification mails that I want but don’t need to do anything with, personal mail from family and friends, and some marketing mail that I asked for.
Some of it is seasonal, like the gardening mail I get. I don’t buy for the garden until late winter, so I ignore it most of the time. Most of the rest is stuff like specialty food shops, discount retail stores, veterinary supplies, jewelry supplies, and the like. I know what I signed up for, so I don’t really bother looking at it unless I’m ready to buy something. I do glance through on occasion and drool a little over the pretties.
(BTW, there’s one sure-fire way to make marketing mail totally desirable: have it be about bacon!)
Just the idea of sorting out that quantity of mail makes me tired and so I avoid it and the pile just keeps getting bigger. In short, my inbox is a huge mess that I am sick of and don’t want to deal with. I mention this by way of setting up what I’m about to say…
Given the backdrop of a pile of 9000 emails, getting my specific, irritated attention with marketing mail is difficult.
One of the discount retailers managed it, though. I’ve been on their mailing list for a long time, at least 6 years. I buy stuff now and then. I like their business, and I’ve been happy with them. Until the last two weeks or so – I’m accustomed to seeing one email a day from them, which is fine. This expectation was set long ago and has been maintained. Recently they’ve escalated to 2 emails a day, and today (Saturday) it is 3. Three emails before 2PM? Really? The third one announced COUPONS & FREE SHIPPING EXTENDED UNTIL MIDNIGHT! The implication is that this was a decision made by the company at the spur of the moment, and that they needed to inform their customer base of this unexpected thoughtfulness on their part. Except…that email and the one before it – Best of BLACK FRIDAY COUPONS & FREE SHIPPING!* – were sent at the exact same moment: 10:02AM. That’s a bit disingenuous. And really annoying.
Now, I get that Christmas is coming and the economy is terrifying and all, but seriously – this is the “one bite at the apple” thing all over again. If it were just one retailer doing this, it would be manageable, if irritating. But a lot of them are succumbing to the idea that more email is better, and pounding their customer lists with multiple emails a day will get them to buy. Nyet. Ow! Quit it! I unsubscribed. I may sign up again after the holiday insanity is over…if I remember to.
*If the ESP sending for them recognizes this and wants to discuss it with me, feel free to contact me, you have my work email already.