Be aware of your email practices and do not exceed ethical boundaries if you accept consent that has not been granted.
After more than 20 years, when I think of an email profession, a brand does something that amazes me, and often not in the right way.
When working with the COVID-19 experience, they strive to make money in any way they can. Most do this by expanding their existing channels. Some blow up everything they can in a desperate attempt to get things done.
But today I’m going to talk about what happens when a company goes too far.
Before starting the story, I must say that it was my experience with a good friend who repeated my version. I don’t know the volume of any section on these practices or the selection criteria (but everything), but I agree because what happened to me is against everything we confess about the email space.
More importantly, email marketing must be based on consent.
Now I realize that I can be sensitive to this because I know what to do with the data. I don’t expect privacy. But here’s the situation.
I am building a new house and have to buy things like a stove, a refrigerator, and an outdoor braai oven. I have done a lot of research, watched videos, and visited many websites, many for the first time. Then I came across the BBQ Guys website, which has an interesting mix of the products I was looking for.
I was able to view the site and visit the product pages. So I had to take my yacht apart to make a conference call. Later, when I got back to my inbox, I got the email from BBQ Guys:
The email indicated my complete browsing history. But as an email marketer, I thought, Who cares?
At first glance, this looks like a typical email bug. Leaving pages is a little closer to the limited dateline than leaving cars, but it’s acceptable if you’ve already provided your email address to the brand.
And herein lies the problem. I have never joined the BBQ Guys email program. So how did they get my email?
The answer is in the returned email address. It doesn’t come from BBQGuys but from a company called SafeOpt. I can only imagine that SafeOpt bought my email address from someone and hired BBQ Guys SafeOpt to send emails to browsers like me.
So I asked a friend to repeat my behavior and see if she had the same experience. BAM! She received the same email with her history and did not register. Furthermore, she did not move immediately and received the following email:
3 reasons why it is wrong and that it can cost customers and sales
- It is extremely disturbing.
It’s a limited data experience to see how companies use information you did not provide to them. From a business perspective, limited data is the use of data that your subscribers or customers do not accept.
I receive a happy birthday email from a website that I change regularly if I have never noticed my date of birth. Or in 2012, when the Obama campaign told me if my friends were registered to vote.
I had a lot of data issues. I’ve written about it several times before, including this post on Marketing Land: “What is the future of consumer data now that Facebook is retiring?”
The worrying data is even more worrying today due to all data breaches in well-known brands like NameYourDepartmentStoreHere.com, as well as access to data from reputable companies. Emails like these from BBQGuys / Safe-Opt get to the heart of consumers’ assessment that their data is at risk.
It can be argued that BBQ Guys’ use of my email address is relevant because the email I received is related to my behavior on the website. But it’s limited because I did not ask to receive an email or provide my address. I click on the “No thanks” button in the large pop-up window that appears a few seconds after the homepage is loaded and ask for my email address as part of a contest.
you understand the problem I mentioned before, but the company decided that I really do not know what I’m thinking. They will have to decide how much it is worth to me. That friend is just wrong.
Is it legal in CAN-SPAM? Yes, but….
I’m sure the SafeOpt team will justify your business model by saying that CAN-SPAM allows you to disable email contact. And yes, that’s great. But I will also remember that CAN-SPAM is the last step in terms of deliverability and respect for privacy. Above are blocklists, ISPs, ESP codes of conduct, and international and national regulations.
Claiming your promotions on CAN-SPAM is an empty topic and does not help me get started with CCPA. It turns out that they sent me an email without permission and that they have my email address somewhere in their database, and I did not give it.
Your email address is your digital social security number. So if you notice that it is being used in ways you do not expect or want, you need to protect it and respond in the best way possible. You use it at the bank to take out a mortgage, buy a car, open an account, buy online, and in a hundred other ways. SafeOpt has my digital SSN and uses it in ways I did not request. It irritates me.
- A good shopping experience, ruined
Now the brand just sends me spam. I was willing to spend a lot of money on these people. But since they sent me this unsolicited email, I’ve gone crazy. I do not know their ethics, their data practices, because they have signed a contract with this company.
Now I see your ads everywhere. I’m calling Gmail and seeing an ad. News from Google? Warn. Facebook? Yes, an advertisement. Damn, it’s all about NextDoor.
I understand that retargeting is an important tool in the messaging arsenal of a digital marketer, but it is an overload. I’m not going to buy anything like throwing something in the cart and dropping it. All the company had was the behavior of my browser.
What I gain from this experience is that I do not want to do business with this business. I do not know how stable it is when you spend money on these ads. The brand has ruined a relationship due to its aggressive marketing.
They were like the trademark version of a badly used car salesman. I do not care how sexy the car is. I would go elsewhere if I had a bad trading experience.
- People today are more concerned about data misuse.
In the days and era of COVID, economic, political, and electoral turmoil is nerve-wracking. I have not been in the restaurant since the beginning of March.
I understand that businesses do everything in their power to catch up on lost money due to barriers, quarantines, and nervousness of the consumer when they go to public places.
One of the reasons email marketers are so focused on shopping is because we want people who want our information, people who sign our emails. I did not sign the BBQ Guys email before I left the site because I was not interested enough to buy anything at the time.