How Staples Is Enticing Me
January 28, 2016
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I get emails from Staples because sometimes they’re pretty good with coupons and whatnot. They show up just about every day. What isn’t very good about them (aside from the frequency) – and this is a rapidly deteriorating condition – is their subject lines. I have a pretty deep-seated hatred for click-bait headlines, and running close behind that is a distaste for pointless headlines. Here’s a bunch of recent examples:
- ⌛ You hit it big! Open asap for a COUPON!
- We need your attention! 20% off toner
- Access: GRANTED. Buy 1, get the 2nd 50% off!
- Don’t waste this ☞ You’re first in line to get this COUPON for 20% off…
- We dare you to miss out: Your sneak peek is here.
- You’ve unlocked it! It’s official, you’re in. >>Save 60%<<
- You were chosen: Last-minute gifts inside.
- You checked your inbox just in time: Get up to $280 off.
- Let’s see you resist this: COUPONS inside! You hit it big.
- You rock! You checked your inbox just in time: Get up to $300 off laptops!
- 🙂 Yes, it’s true! What are you waiting for?
This goes on and on. Each time I think I have enough examples, they just keep coming… Who the hell is writing this garbage? Are they speaking to children? Is anyone going to be fooled into thinking that they are getting some sort of exclusive offers? So many questions.
You know when this started? 10/16/2015. And it was identifiable by the first emoji ever used in the subject line of their emails. This suggests that the marketing person is young and hip. Young and hip doesn’t always mean smart. Just as the younger generation is failing to learn proper composition in its many forms, they are woefully ignorant about business communications. Staples is a business supply company and primarily communicates with professionals.
Regardless of the target audience, which is being completely ignored here, there are some simple rules with regard to correspondence, whether electronic or physical. The rule being shat upon here is: “The subject line identifies the context of the letter”, as in “This letter is regarding…” This is not achieved with “You were chosen” or “We dare you to miss out”. Seriously, you, a company, are extending a challenge to me, a potential customer, to not purchase something from you. I don’t think you realize just how easy that is to do.
Ok, I’ll admit, I don’t know if the marketing person/people are “young”. But they definitely seem to be “young” in experience. To be honest, the subjects really seem like they were written “offshore” by spam/scam professionals. I can say that Staples trying to portray itself in this fashion is definitely a turn-off. If I want to shop at a goofy store, I’ll go to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. Not even Big Lots has such corny emails.