Finally, my inbox can rest.
Christmas is over. And it couldn’t have come too soon for my email inbox. It was inundated with email promotions for holiday gifts.
These emails weren’t technically spam. After all, I had ordered gifts from companies such as Harry & David last year, and I gave them permission to send emails to me with special offers in the future.
But how many emails can a company send without violating the sanctity of that opt-in? Harry & David and its sister company Wolferman’s literally sent at least one email a day in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It started around Thanksgiving and didn’t let up. (In fact, it still hasn’t let up. Apparently they have more pears to sell and are offering post-holiday discounts).
My favorite was one morning when I received an urgent email from Harry & David: Last day to order and get delivery by Christmas with free express shipping!
Then, later that afternoon: Only a couple hours left to order and get delivery by Christmas with free express shipping!
Two emails in one day is excessive. But the punchline came the next day: Extended! Today is really the last day to order with free express shipping!
E-commerce stores, take note. When your customers opt-in to receiving promotional emails, you need to respect what that means. Sending an email a couple times a month during most of the year is reasonable. Then perhaps weekly before the holidays. But one or two emails a day for a month is not what people signed up for.