Just after Christmas I took advantage of the sales to buy myself a new pair of walking boots from Millets. The staff were particularly helpful and provided excellent advice on the range of available products.
Would I Like Special Offers?
When I got to the till, I was asked if I had an email address so they can send me some offers. I was happy to do so. Whilst I strongly dislike spam, I don’t mind getting an occasional promotional email or special offer from a company I already buy from.
An Unexpected Flood
The “flood” of 12 emails that Millets deluged me with over the next 17 days was rather unexpected. It must take a mind seriously detached from reality that would think the average customer is going to welcome an almost daily advertising email. Only the most dedicated shopaholic would enjoy this level of communication.
The Advantage of Temporary Email Addresses
Fortunately, email addresses I provide to any new organisation are temporary ones. I got fed up years ago with companies misusing my personal data, ranging from selling it to 3rd parties to inundating me with spam in the way that Millets did.
So, I bought my own domain and always keep a spare temporary address that I give out to companies at the beginning. If that company behaves responsibly, I give them a permanent email address to use. But the moment I get spam or an irresponsible level of emails, it gets deleted and any further emails simply bounce back to the sender.
Is Millets Harming Its Profits
Millets behaviour may be harming its profit level. Whilst it is unlikely that customers will be so outraged by excessive emails that they will stop shopping there, Millets will probably lose their attention. At worst they’ll ditch the email address – as I did – and at best they will stop reading the emails.
This means that whilst Millets may have not lost customers, they have lost the opportunity to communicate effectively with them.
An occasional well-targeted email offering promotional discounts or advertising a sale can bring additional customers to the store. But cluttering customers’ inboxes with almost daily junk mail will prevent them from spotting offers that are of genuine interest.
This behaviour could also damage customers’ perception of Millets as a responsible company.