August 11, 2007

The Reminder E-Mail

It's 5:47am. I'm walking my dog, a dog that wants to investigate every newspaper lying in every driveway.

Each newspaper was wrapped with an advertisement from a large retailer. The ad tells the newspaper reader to eagerly anticipate a catalog that will be mailed to select customers in the near future.

This reminds me of all the e-mail campaigns you see, campaigns reminding the customer that an important catalog is going to be mailed in the near future.

Pundits sometimes like these e-mail campaigns, suggesting they provide an effective 1-2 punch in generating response. They call these "integrated multichannel marketing campaigns".

I'll grant you that these campaigns probably work.

But what does this say about you, the humble employee?

What, exactly, are you "selling"?

You are selling the customer the dream that better advertising is coming soon.

It may be in the best interest of the customer, and it probably is in the best interest of the brand, to execute these multi-step advertising campaigns.

But how do you, the employee, benefit from telling your co-workers and your customers that better advertising is coming soon?

E-mail will always be a second-class citizen in the minds of employees and customers when it is used to communicate that better advertising is coming soon. The employees executing these campaigns deserve better. These employees need to work on campaigns that are as close to selling directly to the customer as possible.