Last week I was shocked to get a Penzeys Spices newsletter with the title, “Newsletter +Racism Update!” As an IT professional I am familiar with the current best practices for email marketing practices. This title was a completely unnecessary risk to the business. For many businesses this is their peak season. Suffice to say anyone in their right mind would recognize this is the season to connect with their customers in positive ways. It takes about twenty postive engagements to overcome one mean spirited engagement. This is not the time to toss your marketing plan out the window because your candidate lost an election. You actually have to be an adult about running a business. To compound the problem he actually wrote in the body of the newsletter, “The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades. ” Regardless of how you felt about the election this statement will antagonize half of the population. Then on the next day I cringed again as he wrote another email with instructions on how to unsubscribe from the newsletter if the previous email bothered you. I am not making this up! On the third day he wrote again. This time the title was, “Opt-out results for racism update email!” When will the insantity stop!
To Opt Out Or To Not Opt Out Has Nothing To Do With Racism
I checked my records and my first order with Penzeys Spices was in 1996. Typically this is the time of year I stock up with their products. They have a great selection and good product quality but they are not the only business selling spices. Recently I have been weaning myself away from them because I bought too many spices. To save myself from myself I opted to purchase spices locally when I run out. Jungle Jim’s has a great selection of spices. Someday I may buy bulk quantities of spices from Amazon. The important point is for a business like Penzeys Spices to remember is that customer retention is crucial. Customers have plenty of reasons to opt out of your newsletter without you forcing the question. Do not encourage them to opt out for an issue unrelated with your business. The number-one rule of business is to stay business-focused.