Last week a conversation in my office really got under my skin. My coworkers Cristina and Karen were discussing that a large retailer asked them if they wanted to be green and have their store receipt emailed over to them.
Now on the surface this seems very logical, less paper equals less trees being cut down. But as we all know, marketers are not that environmentally conscious. I’ve fallen into this trap before which is why I jumped into the conversation, wait no, bitchfest. You see, many of these retailers add your email to their database which also means that you are now getting email campaigns from them which to me is just spam.
Unfortunately email is not the only place that retailers are using to expand their marking reach on the sly. My wife has often been asked by stores for her mobile number only to get unwanted text messages on sales and specials.
While this trickery is annoying, it really does not have to happen.
Permission based marketing should offer value to both sides. For example if you give me your email or text, I will give you exclusive offers or top tips to better your fitness, backyard, pool, etc (all depending on product).
One company who did a really good of this lately was the Sports Authority in their celebration of their new store in Watertown, Mass. They did a call out in-store, on marketing materials and in the local mall’s display board asking patrons to opt into SMS messages for a schedule of local sports personalities coming into the store for autograph sessions. On one hand the store gets a huge bump in foot traffic, but the consumer gets the chance to meet one of their sports heroes. Oh and in case you forgot your jersey, ball or helmet, Sports Authority sells them too.
Sure you can call this a special circumstance, but if you look at the root of it, any retailer can do it. Offering mutual benefits will help grow the database without getting McCreepy.
Image - Skokie Public Library