Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Home » News

How not to market to this mom online

Submitted by on Friday, 24 October 2008 One Comment
Had I not bought Big Guy's Halloween costume two weeks ago -- and at 25 percent off, even that early -- the WBShop.com offer that landed in my inbox a few minutes ago would have tempted me.

Seventy-five percent off, $5 overnight shipping and more, the email trumpeted. Last chance for Halloween bargains, it warned.

Not bad. The hefty discount got my attention and the shipping bargain held it enough to lure me to read more. At $16.50 for some adult costumes, I would have been tempted had I not bought my own get-up last weekend at Big Lots.

Once I clicked through to the site, though, the bargains weren't that impressive. Their Big Guy-size Batman costume, for example, still is going for $3 more than the peak price at a discount chain -- and $10 more than I paid.

Bad, bad retailer.

In this economy, bogus buys aren't going to trick me. And don't even try the "last chance" ploy. I received four of those from the same toy manufacturer between Halloween and Christmas last year. I'm an online shopping "early adapter" and have had faux bargain fatigue for close to two years.

According to an Associated Press story this morning more shoppers are starting to feel the burnout just as more retailers are jumping on the bandwagon.

Seems they've finally realized that email has a better return on investment than direct mail: $45.06 for every dollar spent on email as opposed to $7.28 for catalogs, according to the AP story.

I honestly don't understand why companies still send me catalogs, which go directly from the mailbox to the garbage can. I haven't done mail order with them in years, so why would they think killing trees is the best way to sell to me?

Problem is, with more companies cyber-screaming at consumers emails are starting to land in the electronic recycling bin. That's largely because of the klutzy carnival barker approach.

Less than 20 percent of retailers' e-mails are customized even though stores have the capability of targeting messages, a consultant told The AP. That would be the difference between the WB approach and the amazon.com email I just got that told me about products I might be interested in based on my past shopping and clicking habits.

A better approach, but I'm still not buying.

So how does someone nail a hard-core cynic like me? Build your brand when you're not trying to sell me something. I'll think of you first when I am ready to buy.

Whole Foods Markets does this well, tweeting recipe ideas, blog posts with personality and bargain alerts. Real bargain alerts. But not enough of any of it to annoy. I have the warm fuzzies about this company and I don't even live close enough to one to shop there.

Crayola tries, offering craft ideas, coloring pages and emails that push projects rather than products. It would work better if the emails were a little cleaner. It doesn't take me long to lose patience with trying to click through clutter.

Whatever you do, though, don't show up in my inbox and scream "last chance!" I have two small children -- I hear enough shrieking.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

Similar Posts:

One Comment »

  • Julie said:

    I think they’re so dead set on getting out attention they figure even if they annoy us, at least we remember who it is that’s annoying us. I follow the same rules with stores as with my kids. Ask me to something too many times and it’s just not gonna happen at all.