Making Unsubscribes Worth It

No etailer likes it when a customer unsubscribes from their emails. I am always curious about new email marketing strategies so I subscribe and unsubscribe at a fairly regular rate. After reviewing few email samples I scroll to the bottom of the email and click the unsubscribe link. I am then taken to the retailer’s unsubscribe page. What’s odd is that I don’t recall any instance where an etailer enquired about the reason of my unsubscribe?

Instead of just loosing me the etailer should ask questions like:

– Are you unsubscribing because the content was boring?
– Are you unsubscribing because we sent too many emails?
– Are you unsubscribing because we were sending promos you were uninterested in?
– Are you unsubscribing because you’ve found a better site?
– Other? If other please specify

It’s Not Really A “Subscriber Exclusive” If Everyone Is Invited, Right?

This morning I got a special email from Wilsons Leather. The email informed me I was getting an exclusive additional 20% off for being a member of their mailing list. I was stoked.


But then, at the bottom of the promo I saw a link that let me forward the email to a friend. So I forwarded it to myself and discovered this offer was also valid for my friends who were not part of the mailing this.

But what really got me upset was when I went to and saw, right at the top of the page, the same discount on their homepage, open to everyone!


It is true that the free shipping with the 20% discount was indeed only for email subscribers. Had I been the marketing manager for the site I would have only sent information about free shipping to my subscribers and prevented them getting upset to discover that the special 20% discount was open for all.

add to cart for email list:


add to cart for rest:


Yelp Is Not A Dating Site, But…

Email marketing, by and large, is a way for marketers to manage recall through saturation. Academically we all realize flooding is bad (unclassy) marketing but because it works we do it anyway. Fortunately, the good folk at have decided to try something different. Their editorial team actually parsed customer experiences and comments and created a well written, well linked Valentines day email for the Chicago market. If you think I am being biased know that I absolutely hate and believe their “open for anyone to rank and review” model churns out constant duds. That being said, I feel no shame admitting that their email marketing strategy is fantastic.


I Love You, But Please Slow Down is a great music site I discovered through TechCrunch. But they send too many emails. I love them but I need them to slow down and it’s a pity their email only highlights an unsubscribe option when what I really want is an option that lets me reduce emails to once a month. Now I’m sure I could visit their website, login, go to my account and make those changes (may be) but I am far too busy and far too lazy to do that.

AmieStreet Email

The Right Message For The Right Audience At The Right Time

I got an email from Amazon this morning promoting the TomTom GPS system. This was not a blast email but a very well calculated strategy. Amazon has probably noticed I’ve looked at several GPS systems over the year but never managed to pull the trigger. They know I am not a compulsive shopper. In the context on what they know about me I’d say this email will have a solid conversion rate.

I believe ‘relevant context’ is the secret sauce of successful email marketing.

Notice the content of the message, you’ll see Amazon has taken raw clickstream data and massaged it with good marketing practices. Instead of saying ‘Rishi, you looked at 12 GPS models and read 34 customer comments this year‘ which would creep me out they sent a generic marketing message giving me the illusion of an epiphany.

amazon email