Web Marketers Get Personal
The New York Times reports that starting next week, a handful of marketers in the United States will begin sending customized ads to Internet users who land on About.com, Lycos and nytimes.com, among other Web sites. So, instead of seeing a random advertisement for the Audio Book Club or the e-travel agencies Orbitz and Priceline, you might see ads addressing you by name, mentioning some of your past purchases at the site and urging you to return.
Analysts and industry executives say this new approach offers online sellers a new and inexpensive way to retain customers they have spent heavily to acquire. In recent years, marketers have mainly used e-mail messages to persuade users to return, but spam filters now block many legitimate commercial e-mail messages and spam-weary consumers are less inclined to open commercial messages that make it to their in-boxes.Analysts and industry executives would do well to try to understand that customers want to be left alone. Interruption marketing does not work, we are learning to screen 'messages' out. It is increadible how the industry does not get the customers' 'message' to stop interrupting - all the pop-up blockers, spam filters and reluctance to part with email lest it's hijacked by zealous direct marketers.
Sarah Fay, president of Carat Interactive, a Boston-based advertising firm, predicted that advertisers would work hard to make customers comfortable with such ads.
Loyalty marketing is becoming one of the top ways to increase sales. You see it with catalogers, and how sophisticated they are about mining their e-mail databases. This gives you a new way to touch people who really have a relationship with your company.
No, it doesn't. It gives you a new way to annoy people. If you want to touch people and have a 'relationship' with your customers, perhaps a different industry would be more suitable. Offer value for value, give them something they are interested in, entertain them, inform them, engage them. Just do not interrupt them.
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