Friday, March 25, 2016

Not the right salutation solution

Getting your greeting right in a sales scenario can make or break the deal before it even gets started. 

Offline, you make a decision based on what you see, hear and 'feel' - as in 'gut feeling'. 

That final point comes from experience - and you just can't teach experience. Anyhoo, back to the point. 

Online the salutation has to be pre-determined ... coded into the email or web presence; so no seeing, hearing or gut feeling. However, you do have the organization's 'voice', that is, how the organization talks to its customers. This is based on a whole load of things, but mainly the organization's culture, ethos, brand values, the product/service it sells - and its prior relationship with the customer.

Given these issues, I just think that 'Dear Mr Charlesworth' is not right for an email selling holidays.

PS note how the content implies it is a leisure trip not a business trip. For business, 'Mr' might be OK.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ebay ... nice try, but no cigar

I got this email from ebay.

So here's the thing: 

My car's MOT is due in around 6 weeks [if you're reading this outside the UK, all cars must pass an annual roadworthy test - the MOT]. 

I am assuming that it is no fluke that my MOT is, indeed, due.  How did ebay know? Purchased  data from the relevant government department is my guess. I have no problem with that; if the data is available, use it. You could argue it is good marketing. However, me being me, you know what is coming next. But ...

From their own site visitor data ebay knows [should know] that I am a bit of a 'petrolhead'. And wouldn't someone who has a real interest in cars know when his car's MOT is due. And probably already made plans for any necessary purchases? 

So ... good effort at personalization - but not personal enough for this buyer. And flawed personalization - like any poor targeting - can serve to alienate the customer.

PS: if you have read my Digital Marketingbook this should help with the exercise on page 272 :-)

Amazon: excellent; excellent; bad

Every year I address the issue with my students about a website that has the objective of branding and the website that has the objective of sales. The key difference is in the way content is presented - specifically to sell things there must be appropriate calls-to-action. And this screenshot of the front page of Amazon is a perfect example ...

Notice the urgency, immediacy even, of the message 'today only'. Excellent.

Well, I have been considering a 'fire' device for a while, so a £30 saving appealed to me, and I clicked on the link. Notice how alongside the 'free delivery' message the urgency is hi-lighted by a running countdown clock until the offer end. Excellent.

So I clicked on 'buy now' and got this page ...

Yep ... only available in a sort of pinky-purplish colour they call megenta. 

You guessed it. I don't want a device in that colour.

So ... not only did I not buy one - but I feel I have been part of a 'bait and switch' operation [if you don't know what that is, look it up on Digital Marketing Definitions] - which has left a sour taste of the experience ... and of Amazon.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Humble flight pie

The previous entry on this blog was one of a whole series of similar comments about KLM/Air France [for they are now one]. 

Well today, this arrived ... 

Of course, me being me, I can't just make a compliment without some kind of caveat, so: pink writing on a light blue background is not the easiest to read.