In the previous post I shared a birthday coupon e-mailed to me by a photo printing company. I found it a bit annoying.
I was expecting one thing -- an electronic greeting -- and got something else. Yes, if I had read carefully, I would have known it was not a greeting card. But who reads their e-mail that carefully? I know I don't.
More to the point, a birthday greeting is a personal thing. It could perhaps come from a business if that business was my hair salon. I get a letter every year from a life insurance agent for a policy issued decades ago, and I find that rather charming.
This is not charming, despite the pretty balloons. This is an attempt to get me to buy something, disguised as a personal greeting. They are suggesting I'm a fan, when I am not.
So instead I unsubscribed.
Unsubscribing doesn't work as well as it used to, because there are so many lists being bought and sold, that I could easily wind up getting mail from this company again in the future.
#1 Don't assume that someone who stopped by your website -- even if they gave you an e-mail -- is a fan.
And be careful trading on a personal and social occasion -- like a birthday or a holiday -- when you are not in a personal relationship. There are brands I'm connected to who could send me birthday greetings and I would be charmed. But they would actually give me something of value, instead of saying they want something of value from me.
Moo, for example, could probably pull off a birthday greeting. Because I actually AM a fan, and a regular customer. But they are way too smart for that, because they are in the business of building loyalty, not pretending it is there.