When you work in the email space, you take a different perspective on your inbox. I receive email for very different reasons than others in my life. I subscribe to just about any email I can, because I like to see what people are doing. More specifically, how marketers are targeting their customers, leveraging data, addressing rendering challenges and motivating recipients to open, among many other things.
But “normal” people just don’t do that. They subscribe to a specific email because they want it – at least they thought they did. So I thought I would ask the real email subscriber in my life, my husband, what he likes and doesn’t like about email – this is what he said (ok, I’ve paraphrased some, but this is almost what he said):
The Bait and Switch
So, apparently people actually subscribe to email because they expect or want something – go figure, huh? But once they get “it” do marketers continue to deliver value? So my hubby tells me that often times he subscribes for something specific, but if the subsequent emails don’t grab him right away then he unsubscribes. Yes, you heard me right, he actually does click the unsubscribe link.
The Fine Print
But he can’t click the unsubscribe link if he can’t find it – and he actually does look for it. This leads us to the second thing that annoys him about email – ok, it’s a life in general thing, but it’s prolific in email – the fine print. Now that we have kids, the closest he’s getting to Vegas are the emails he gets in his inbox – and nothing drives him more crazy than a great subject line and headline about getting free nights at a great hotel – only to open the message to find that there isn’t a snowball’s chance he can go. It would just take too long to filter through the legalese.
No Real Point
My better-half tells me that we email marketers have seconds to get to the point otherwise he closes the email. Which in and of itself isn’t news – but what surprised me was that he’s actually pretty fickle. If we don’t make our point quickly in this email – he isn’t opening the next one either – or the one after that, or the one after that. He’s stubborn…
No Images (Not our fault, but he doesn’t know that)
So this was the very first thing he said – and as long as we’ve been together and all the time I’ve been working in the space – I was sure he knew this, but he did not. AOL, take note, my husband does not like that you suppress his images by default. The funnier thing for me was that he couldn’t figure out why images rendered for Zappos, but not for Mandalay Bay. He has no recollection of adding Zappos to a safe-sender list, but clearly he did. So in his mind, the issue was with Mandalay Bay, not AOL.
But rest assured, he doesn’t dislike everything about us. There is one thing he loves about email and that is Zappos. He’s an uber-fan of everything Zappos, but here’s a lesson to integrating your customer service calls with your email programs. After an issue he had with shoes he ordered for our son, he called and spoke with someone who was very friendly and helpful and took care of correcting the order issue. He was happy with the customer service he received, and he moved on to other things. A short hour later, he received a coupon for a discount off his next purchase – as a way to say “we’re sorry for the recent issue with your order.”
So learn from his man-crush on Zappos – sometimes doing something nice goes a long way.
– Kara Trivunovic
Senior Director of Strategic Services