AUTOMATIC RESPONSES AREN’T ALWAYS SOUND

I’ve railed before about automated email marketing campaigns that lack common sense. For example, when I buy products from a particular office supply store, it tries to resell me the identical product a couple months later with the message that it’s time to refill my order. No, I don’t need another shredder, thanks.

Just as annoying are the companies that send emails asking you to complete reviews of your recent purchases. A case in point was the email I received today from a major hardware retailer. While working on a home repair a few days ago, I needed to replace some rusty bolts, washers, and nuts, so I stopped in and bought a few new ones. I swiped my customer loyalty card when I made the purchase.

So today, I received an email asking me to write a review of a three-inch quarter-inch by 20 hot dipped galvanized carriage bolt. What in the world would I say? “It’s a nice shiny bolt, and the threads on the accompanying nut matched perfectly? Golly, if I need another three-inch quarter-inch by 20 hot dipped galvanized carriage bolt, I would surely buy this one, and I plan to recommend it to my friends?”

Someone in the marketing department had a great idea to increase the number of reviews on the store’s website, but they didn’t think it through. Instead of asking for reviews on fifteen-cent bolts, they could have set a threshold for the product value, or maybe limited requests to specific product categories. For example, power tool purchases would trigger review requests. Nuts and bolts? Not so much.

Sure, it’s just another email. But it’s annoying, and it shows that their interest in what I think about my purchases is feigned and phony. That does nothing to encourage my loyalty.

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