Rant alert!

Someone reminded me this morning that one of the over-used (read ‘done to death’) tricks of internet marketers in the past twelve months or so that I’ve noticed, has been to send out emails indicating that one had made an error. These are readily identified by the subject heading which will say something like ‘Whoops!’ or ‘I goofed!’

The message will go on to explain that, say, the sender had sent out the wrong message, or had backed his or her SUV into a box of CDs and although the boxes were slightly damaged the CDs still worked perfectly well and you could have them now for the once only price of 79% off the regular price if you decided to act NOW! I could write a longer sentence, but you get the picture and no doubt you’ve received one or more of such messages. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m now not inclined to open any email that looks like this. Today I discovered why that’s a shame.

What happened was that I noticed today a couple of new registrations to receive my THB Insider ezine. As I’d just emailed the second issue last night, I wondered whether the new people had registered and confirmed in time to receive it. So I re-sent the ezine to those people with a subject heading including the words ‘just in case you missed your delivery of THB Insider’. A little while after I’d sent it I checked with one of the people directly and was shocked when they observed that the subject heading looked to them like one of those ‘Whoops!’ type headers described above.

Now email is an important element of my life, helping me keep in touch with family, friends, colleagues, clients around the world. I don’t like to think that sending an email in a genuine endeavour to ensure that someone has received something they asked for could be taken as a device of some kind. I hate the idea that marketing tricks of the kind I mention here may be turning ’email communication’ into an oxymoron.

For my money, those tricks are on a par with the various hoaxes that have been circulating on the web for years and which similarly debase the value of email as a trusted communication channel. 

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