When is Bad Direct Marketing Good Direct Marketing?
It’s a Dog’s Life
It’s been a bit eventful for our Steve. He was cruelly accosted by 2 of our dogs on Flamborough Head last week. Well to be fair, they were playing in their usual high-octane and exuberant way when they accidentally ran into Steve. As they were behind him, he didn’t see them coming (missed me by inches – phew!). Poor old Steve was flailing around, trying not to go over the edge of the cliff. Oddly, he still had it in him to issue forth a diatribe on the merits of Pekinese!
The upshot of all this is that Steve has made a close and meaningful relationship with a bag of frozen peas! Thankfully, although it is a severe sprain, the x-ray has confirmed there is no break to his ankle. Steve is beside himself with frustration – It’s only a month since he was passed fit to cycle again and now he is hoping against hope he will be recovered by the time his super-duper, Italian Stallion, new bike arrives (I might have to hide if he’s not!!)
Speaking of all things frustration and cycling . . . . .
Direct Marketing – when it hits the mark (and when it doesn’t). . .
I had a frustrating experience recently with regard to direct marketing. I received a direct marketing email advising me of a special offer on something really relevant to me – cycle clothing. Yippee! As I was on the look-out for a cycling tee-shirt for Steve (a little treat to go with his new bike) I opened the email. The offer looked great as it was for a limited edition tee-shirt (which I knew Steve would love) so I followed the website instructions in order to make a purchase there and then. However, when I finally reached the screen to select the size – they only had extra-small in stock . . . . . I was gutted!
Now, the question is this; is that pointless direct marketing that creates ill-feeling and frustration, or is it good direct marketing because it drove me to their site, and could have helped them shift their last bit of stock (if I was in possession of an elf-sized husband)??
At first my reaction was one of ‘grrrr’ followed by a few expletives (words that Steve doesn’t know I know). What’s the point in promoting this fantastic limited edition special offer and making me jump through all the hoops only to find, at the last hoop, myself, Steve and the vast majority of the rest of the population won’t fit into it?!!!
Added to which, as a limited edition, it’s fairly unlikely to come back into stock.
However, after a brew whilst I pondered the point, I came to a different conclusion.
Good Direct Marketing
There are several good things to be said for the email and the company that sent it.
As you know, Steve and I are keen cyclists and this email was completely up our street. Even though they didn’t have what I wanted in stock, they are sure to stock many items that will appeal to us, if not now, then in the future.
The email came from a company I am aware of and have purchased from in the past. We are obviously on their customer database and I am quite happy to be there as what they sell is what, at some point, I will want to buy.
Steve has also purchased from this company before but had to return the garment due to sizing (ironically, it was too big!). Steve mentioned to me at the time how good the customer service was. The returns process was seamless and the customer care second to none. Steve was made to feel like a valued customer, and this is an important (and oft overlooked) part of any businesses marketing strategy.
Steve and I both know that the quality of the products supplied is very good – it is part of the reason I am happy to be contacted by them.
All’s well that ends well. . . .
So, in retrospect I think it is good direct marketing. Were they wrong not to put ‘extra small only’ in their email heading? No I don’t think they were. I (and many others) wouldn’t have bothered to open it. Even though I was disappointed, I was reminded of their brand. I have positive experiences of it and I may well have browsed and made an alternative purchase.
I hope they did manage to shift a fair few of those extra-small tee-shirts – it’s what it’s all about after all!
I have seen another garment on their site – much more expensive but I know it would suit Steve and that he would love it – excellent post-pooch-abuse treat I think! To avoid further frustration though, I’m just going to wait until he is a bit better before I hit ‘add to cart’!!!
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