What Were They Thinking?

March 20, 2009
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We’ve all been there, you get an email from a company but are not exactly sure why. I’m not talking about some funky segmentation or broad-brush promotional email – I mean an obvious what-were-they-thinking?

I just had one of those with a well-know online retailer; I’m on their list but my recent purchase had nothing to do with any email I’d received – in fact it was opposite my purchase history. I got the standard transactional messages, an email receipt and then a few days later a shipping notice with the tracking information. All positive things, except littered among these valuable updates were promotions for items in the new category as well as items in past purchase categories… 


We’ve all been there, you get an email from a company but are not exactly sure why. I’m not talking about some funky segmentation or broad-brush promotional email – I mean an obvious what-were-they-thinking?

I just had one of those with a well-know online retailer; I’m on their list but my recent purchase had nothing to do with any email I’d received – in fact it was opposite my purchase history. I got the standard transactional messages, an email receipt and then a few days later a shipping notice with the tracking information. All positive things, except littered among these valuable updates were promotions for items in the new category as well as items in past purchase categories. It was almost like the volume was turned up because I had bought something; my receipt frequency had gone from three emails a month to getting six in a week.

I’m of the opinion that the purchase should be a flag to not mail your traditional promotional campaigns. As a buyer, I’m only interested in my order and the associated details (confirmations, shipping notices are all fine.) After receipt, I’ll likely be receptive to an invitation for a survey/ review but other than that I simply want what I ordered… it’s almost too late to show other items or offers.

Sound off – What are your post-purchase strategies?

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