There has been a plethora of big brand companies doing stupid stuff with marketing recently. I can only figure it’s end of quarter and everyone is looking to pump up their numbers as fast as possible.
I talked about Millenium hotels sending me with an utterly irrelevant ad earlier this week.
@Yahoomail direct message spammed all their twitter followers with an ad for something related to the new Yahoo mail product.
Anyone watching my twitter feed yesterday probably noticed me complaining about spam from Dell.
All of these things are just examples of sloppy marketing. In Dell’s case it’s even worse because they sent me multiple copies of the spam to different addresses. Two copies of the same “SHOP NOW!” email to different addresses, one of which has never been given to Dell.
Mail to the first address is unquestionably spam and I did send in a complaint to Dell’s ESP. That address is never used to sign up for anything. I did try clicking on the “update your subscription” link in the footer and Dell’s website helpfully told me that address was not on their mailing lists. Looks like Dell bought a list.
The second address is one that was involved with the purchase of software from Dell last July. This is the first non-transactional mail sent to that address. I can’t necessarily call the email spam as I did give it to Dell during the course of a transaction. However, Dell could have done a lot better in managing our “relationship” than they did.
Dell collected my email address as part of a transaction in July 2010. They did not start sending marketing mail to this address until May 2011. While Dell is a major brand and most people would recognize the name and may be a little less inclined to hit “this is spam” waiting 10 months between a purchase and regular mailings is a bad idea. People who don’t use tagged addresses may forget they gave the sender an email address and automatically send in a spam complaint.
Sitting on an address for 10 months means Dell really should have done a welcome series, or even just a single welcome email, to ease the transition from no mail to regular mail. But, no, they just send me an email advertising their sales.
We’ve been Dell customers for quite a while, and all of our purchases have been enterprise grade hardware or software to run on those servers. We’ve never purchased anything remotely like office computers. But the sales flyer was for desktops, printers and monitors. Dell knows what I purchased from there, so why are they sending me ads for things I’ve never bought?
We have our own Dell sales rep, and my only involvement in the transaction is source of payment. Adding me to a product list really feels like spam.
Then there was the email itself. The “update your subscription” link was broken and told me I wasn’t subscribed to their list. I mentioned it to Steve and he pointed out that particular link had been broken “forever.” How long has it been since anyone inside of Dell has checked that their footer links work?
What is Dell up to? Who knows. But they unarguably are sending mail to addresses that never opted in. And even if you consider an email giving during a purchase process their handling of that particular address was appalling and in violation of almost every good practice out there.