Sadly, most of the junk mail I get these days is from companies I already do business with.
I’ve been with my bank for a decade. I run my business finances through them, my personal checking account, a savings account, and my home mortgage. About twice a week I get a letter in the mail from them trying to sell me a new credit card or insurance package. Last week I got an application for a debit card rewards program that I am already enrolled in. Alas, as a customer, I’ve been told I cannot opt out of this junk mail.
I’ve been getting my internet service from Time Warner Cable for 9 years. They provide the fastest internet in my neighborhood and I have always subscribed to their top-of-the-line service plan. About once a month I get a letter in the mail that says “Urgent Customer Information” on the envelope. Yet I open the letter only to find that it is junk mail, trying to up-sell me to a phone and TV package as well.
My wife and I have been AT&T customers since 2007. We have a family plan with unlimited texting, and the expensive data plan for our iPhones. For years they sent me junk mail trying to get me to sign up for their U-Verse services. One day I finally called to look into it only to find out that it wasn’t even available in my neighborhood.
Getting junk mail and advertisements from companies I don’t do business with is annoying enough. But getting it from the companies which I have been a long-time and deeply invested customer is quite annoying.
I understand the need to make known new services and new promotions to your customer base. If TWC gets a newer and faster internet service I want to know about it so I can consider upgrading.
You would think that at the bare minimum a company would let me opt out of their junk mail, would not cry wolf by pretending their junk mail is urgent when it’s really just and ad, and would not waste our time by trying to sell me something that I can’t even buy.
Alas, these companies are not targeting me with a relevant promotion. I am simply a name on a database that they know is up-to-date because I paid my bill last month.
Blanket marketing is easy because all it takes is money — you design a flyer and send it to as many addresses as you can find. It’s like throwing spaghetti at your customers to see what sticks on who.
Relevant marketing, however, is hard because it requires thought and planning.