Email Marketing: Skid Marks in My Inbox

Posted by Scott Cohen On July 12, 2013 in story time I 3 Comments

Last month when I went to visit family in Florida, I had the pleasure of speaking with some of my father’s neighbors about email.  A married couple, the wife was the outspoken one of the two, while the husband was mostly quiet, only occasionally chiming in with support for his wife’s views on the myriad of topics we discussed.

When we touched on email, specifically email marketing, the conversation went like this…

Me: So Martha, do you have an email account?

Martha: Yes I do. I’ve had one for 18 years.

Me: What do you use email for?

Martha: I keep in touch with family and friends as well as get lots of newsletters and sale type emails from companies I buy from—and of course my share of spam. But spam isn’t as bad as it used to be.

Me: What do you think about the email marketing messages you get from those companies?

And the rant begins…

Martha: “Most of them are skid marks in my inbox.  Self-serving drivel asking me to like them on Facebook and offering me deals if I’ll like them.  What are they, 10-year-olds wanting to be friends with the cool kids?  Hey, if I give you my brownie from lunch, will you be my friend?  You don’t buy friends.  They’re a bunch of knuckleheads.”

And she had some thoughts on social media…

“Also, I don’t want their advertising on my Facebook page. We’re not friends, you’re a store, a merchant, and I don’t invite you over to play Pinochle on Saturday night.  We’re not friends, never will be.”

She is friends with someone who conducts business…

“Now I’m friends with my hairdresser.  I’ve been going to get my hair done at the same place for 12 years.  She knows what I like, she knows about my kids, the good and the bad; we even invite her to our Christmas party and occasionally have lunch.  That’s a friend.  I’m not going to be ‘friends’ with Amazon or CVS.  That’s just stupid.”

More thoughts on social media…

“Will they let me post pictures of my cat or other funny pictures of cats on their wall?  Will they like my cat photos and leave comments like my friends do?  Nope. They’ll just keep posting crap about buy this or buy that.  If they were my friend, they’d be more like Joanne down the street who, when she knocks on the door, we shut off the TV and hide behind the couch.  You see, Joanne sells Amway and she’s a giant pain in the butt.  She can’t help herself; she’s always selling something and cannot just come for a friendly visit without pulling out some new laundry product or something.”

Too much selling…

“They just keep selling and selling, and selling.  I will admit that sometimes I get email offers that are both funny and useful.  There are a few companies that actually have a sense of humor and do send me offers for items I both need and want.  But for the most part, they fail.  I guess if they knew about me and my husband then they might know what to send.  But I’m not telling them because we’re not friends.”

Some advice for friends…

“So I delete, unsubscribe, and wash the skid marks from my inbox once a week.  If they want a friend, tell them to buy a dog.  If they want to be my friend, have them come over with a coffeecake and don’t sell me anything.  If we become friends, great, but I doubt they will.  It probably doesn’t make sense to spend all that money and time on visits and coffee cakes.  Plus, I doubt we’d have much in common.”

“If your emails are boring and don’t have what I need, I give you a few chances then you become just another skid mark in my inbox.  I raised 3 boys and a husband and I know how to get rid of skid marks.  You either Wash’em out or throw’em out; it’s really the only thing you can do.”

Just for the record, Martha is 86 years old, her husband is 90.

Enjoy your day, Chris

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