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Customer Service and Data

I had what I consider an irritating email solicitation recently.  As a magazine junkie I’m used to the offers to renew your subscription that come many months before your subscription in due to expire.  But Wired magazine just took this to a whole new level.  I recently signed up for a subscription to Wired.  I did it online and waited for the mailman to deliver.  About a week after I signed up I got an email from Wired offering me a special offer to renew my subscription.  Renew?  I hadn’t received ONE issue of my original subscription yet.

I’m irrationally annoyed by this!  Firstly, I don’t know if I’ll like this magazine and want to renew.  Secondly, this sales technique seems a little aggressive for a reputable business.  Perhaps the email was a mistake?  Well if it was, it was one they repeated frequently as I received a few of these emails over a 6 week period.  Obviously a technology magazine should have a deeper understanding of the mechanics of online commerce.  But somewhere at Wired the ball was dropped.  The customer service aspect of renewals and sales was lost.

It’s so easy to delete an email that doesn’t resonate with a consumer.  The old adage that “You only have one chance to make a first impression” is truer now more than ever.  In the electronic age you only have a few seconds to make someone pay attention to your message.  Once deleted that email is never coming back.  I deleted those emails from Wired without a seconds hesitations.

Someone, somewhere knew who I was.  They knew I just signed up and couldn’t be ready to renew.  I think the lesson here is to synch your customer data with your marketing strategy if you ever want a chance at a repeat customer.

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