Don't do it just because the technology can


A couple of weeks before Christmas I received this sales pitch email from a company I don’t know:

From: **** ****** [mailto:********@******] Sent: 12 December 2008 10:01
To: wakeman, simon
Subject: Web accessibility – do you get it?
Hi, Simon
Just a short reminder following the email you’d opened offering our
‘Accessibility Best Practice Guide’.
If you’d like a free copy please let me know and I’ll send you the PDF.

Now I know I’ve written about this before, but I think here’s an example of a technology being used without a thought for customers/recipients/prospects.

Any email marketer will know how easy it is to track whether an individual has opened an email or not. But doing that and then actively pointing that out to the individual strikes me as a mistake.

If I’d replied to the email, then fine. But emailing a follow-up explicitly based on open rate tracking just feels like an intrusion.

What I take from this is reinforcement of my belief that technology can do many things for marketing, but marketers need to think about the impact of how they use the technology – seeing the whole experience from the customer’s point of view.