June 25, 2008

E-Mail Marketing Gurus: Your Thoughts On Williams Sonoma

The e-mail marketing blogosphere has been buzzing lately, suggesting that we minimize campaign based blasts in favor of targeted, relevant, personalized messages that the customer eagerly anticipates. Sounds good to me!

And then a few weeks ago,
Williams Sonoma mentioned that they have eighteen million opt-in e-mail addresses, across all of their brands.

So my question to all of us who share a belief in relevant, targeted e-mail marketing is this: How would we accomplish this feat for eighteen million unique customers who have multiple relationships and multiple e-mail addresses across multiple brands and multiple channels and multiple stated preferences?

And if we can answer the question effectively, how do we do this when we don't have the systems infrastructure to do what we want to do? It's really easy to blast big brands for their silly practices. How would we solve the problem when faced with real life constraints?

Discuss.