Most (if not all) major brands add you to an email marketing list after you buy and register a product with them. Such is the case with Toshiba. I was forced to buy a new laptop when the one I owned was damaged in a car accident (I looked like I got hit by a truck, because I literally got-hit-by-a-truck!) and needed repaired. It didn’t need to be a great laptop (since mine could be repaired) but it needed to be a great-priced laptop that wouldn’t be totally useless as a back-up or travel laptop for continued use after I had my baby back from the repair shop.
My very first laptop was a Toshiba Satellite and it was a work horse that never gave me any trouble, so I figured why not go with that brand (and BestBuy had one on sale for a fair price.)
- Bought it.
- Took it home.
- Set it up.
- Registered it.
- Proceeded to get the WORST email marketing messages…
I just bought a Toshiba laptop — and registered it with Toshiba.
What is the very LAST thing I need to buy right now from Toshiba?
Toshiba, when I buy a new laptop and register it at your site, the LAST thing I want you to email me about (at what feels like 5X per week!) are all the OTHER laptops you have for sale. You’re making me feel like the one I bought didn’t count. Pushing your even newer model laptops on me just ONE DAY after I bought a brand new one makes me feel like perhaps I only asked for information about a laptop or downloaded a checklist about buying a new laptop — not like I actually paid you a bunch of money and that I’m actually an OWNER of one of your laptops.
I’d even be okay with emails pitching me the peripherals and add-ons that would go WITH my new Toshiba laptop. Granted, there are at least 2 or 3 of those kinds of things offered in the sales emails, but far and away the emails they send are pitching me their new(er) laptops.
Couldn’t they just have easily sent me information and tips that I would have found useful as a new Toshiba laptop owner?
- Keyboard shortcuts (especially those unique to their system)
- Advice on best Back-Up practices
- Links to download free software
- Software and hardware reviews that will work great on my new Toshiba Satellite laptop
- Information on how to protect my new investment from damage (don’t get hit by a truck)
How about just sending me a message every day that tells me how incredibly smart I am for buying the laptop I DID purchase? Tell me what a great deal I got and how they sold out so quickly there is a waiting list (and how sexy I look when I’m using it).
Though not ideal (more Sales than Marketing), I’d even settle for pure sales offers on things to go WITH my new purchase; like a wireless mouse, speakers (because their internal laptop speakers on this model SUUUCK), carrying cases, screen cleaner, USB devices, HDMI cables, software, etc., etc.
I could list a dozen more things they could have sent me other than a list of another dozen laptops I can buy.
[highlight]Toshiba’s email marketing strategy is like having the minister who performs my marriage send me pictures of hot single chicks every day after my wedding.[/highlight]
How are YOUR email messages to customers?
Email marketing can be a very effective way to convert prospects into customers and to get customers to spend additional dollars with you — but what you offer and how you present it will mean the difference between a “sale” and an “unsubscribe”.
- Are you a member of your own email marketing list?
- Are you reading those emails through the eyes of a customer who just bought your product and is now having their very first interactions (as an owner) with your company (or are you just checking for typos and broken links)?
- Are you making it easy for customers to find information they need to get setup and started or the most value and use from their investment?
- Do your messages enhance the customer experience, or are you just trying to sell more stuff?
- Do customers feel valued and intelligent for choosing to do business with your company out of all the other options available to them (and there are LOTS of options.)
- Do the emails encourage helpful conversations and positive interactions with your company (and with friends within your customer’s sphere of influence)?
Too many companies view “The Sale” as the end of the interaction…
[quote]We got their dough, let’s GO.[/quote]
I used a marriage metaphor earlier and it works here, too.
The purchase is just the beginning of a new stage (not the last stage) in a relationship between a customer and a company, just as marriage is a new stage (not the last stage) in a relationship between two people in love. There is an expectation of increased devotion, loyalty, and partnership.
Your customer just took a really big chance on accepting your proposal over someone else’s.
They are feeling exposed and need to be reassured they made the right choice and that you’re going to take good care of them (that you deserve them) as part of your ongoing relationship.
Just like marriage — you have to show your partner love every day.