Bridal Email Overload, Part 2: How David’s Bridal Can Suck Less at Email

In my last post, I wrote about the ridiculous amounts of email I was getting from David’s Bridal. Most people would just let it go, or tell me to set up an email address just for the wedding. Several people actually told me to do that. But what about the MANY email conversations with my family members about the wedding? If I get an email from a vendor we’re considering, and want to forward it to my dad or Andy, I don’t want to have to constantly go back and forth between email accounts.  Also, I’m definitely not setting up a second email account on my phone. No way. And after the wedding, I get to completely dump my old email address and use my new one with my new last name. It’s already set up, and completely empty save for a few welcome emails from Google. Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I just log into that account and admire how clean it is. I can’t wait to set up my crazy label system.

I’ve been working in copywriting/email marketing for about 4 years, and EXCLUSIVELY in email marketing for the last 6 months. I send between 10-20 marketing emails a week, and take a ton of precautions to make sure that I’m not sending too many emails to the same audience on any given day. I don’t want to annoy my readers and cause them to unsubscribe. There are certain ways to make your email marketing relevant, useful and timely for your customers, and it’s not even all that hard to do. And it’s REALLY easy to allow people to customize their preferences, and I really don’t understand why a company like David’s Bridal wouldn’t do such a thing.

Instead, they do this (and this is after deleting quite a few- I just did a search in my email account for David’s Bridal. The “priority” flags were added by Gmail, not me):

Here are a few recommendations I have for David’s Bridal:

1. Send a Welcome email: Out of all emails your company will send, the first one sent is the one of the most likely to be read. Make it count. It should introduce the types of emails you’ll be sending, and perhaps even give the reader an idea of what to expect from your email program. Simple.

2. Know Your Audience: So, David’s Bridal knows that I bought a dress from their store. They got that information the same day that they got my email address. So why, pray tell, did they need to send me 14 more emails over the next week with more pictures of wedding dresses? I’m not in the market for a dress anymore. I just bought one. From you. K?

3. Let me tell you what I want, what I really really want. As I learned from the barrage of emails from David’s Bridal – the company offers a lot of other wedding related products. Since the only thing I’ve done for the wedding is purchase a dress, it’s safe to say that I might be in the market for bridesmaid dresses, tux rentals, invitations, or photography (well, the first two from this particular company anyway…). Too bad I already unsubscribed from your emails because you sent me too many about something I didn’t want. Now you can’t market your other products to me as easily.

What you should do: A preference page. When you send out the Welcome email, tell me to click on “manage my preferences” at the bottom (and make that possible…), and let me tell you what products I’m interested in receiving emails about. And let me tell you if I’d rather get emails every day, or just once or twice a week. David’s Bridal’s email volume is high enough, it would be totally possible to do this.  Also, don’t send anyone four mass emails a day. OVERKILL. And don’t disguise marketing emails with subject lines like “About Your Special Reservation Layaway.” Let me pick if I only want to receive transactional emails from you.

4. Remember that brides are kind of into monogamy: I gave you my email address because I trusted your company and decided that I wanted to hear more from you. I don’t want you to pimp my information out to random other companies. Not cool. Also, when I filled out the form at the store, I wasn’t necessarily giving my consent for you to share my information. I wanted YOU to be able to contact me with information about when my dress would be ready and what I need to do for alterations. That =/= having a company call me about a “vacation” I’ve won. Jerks.

Part of why I’m so overwhelmed by planning the wedding is because of the way the wedding industry aggressively markets to brides, and how we’re told this is supposed to be the most important day of our lives, and if we don’t BUY ALL THE THINGS, it won’t (I know that’s not true, but that doesn’t make it any easier to avoid). I don’t like being told that I have to buy favors and garters and flowers, or tell other people how to dress, or care about table cloths.  I really, really, just want to someone else to do all of the research, and let me just pick between a few options for everything. (And yes, I realize that I should probably hire a planner). Until that time, I’ll just have to be mollified by Practical Ryan Gosling.

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3 Responses to Bridal Email Overload, Part 2: How David’s Bridal Can Suck Less at Email

  1. Josh S says:

    Ooh. I should mention a GREAT feature that gmail offers:
    http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-your.html
    “Append a plus (“+”) sign and any combination of words or numbers after your email address. For example, if your name was hikingfan@gmail.com, you could send mail to hikingfan+friends@gmail.com or hikingfan+mailinglists@gmail.com.”

    In this case, if your email is KristinNYC@gmail.com, you could put KristinNYC+DavidsBridal@gmail.com on the paperwork they gave you to fill out. That way, if it proliferates, you can automatically filter it out. (Create a filter for KristinNYC+DavidsBridal@gmail.com that bypasses the inbox and adds a “Wedding” tag or something). Further, if it gets passed around to 3rd parties, you have an INSTANT way to tell who the jerk was who sold it in the first place. So if ScammyMarketing starts sending spam to KristinNYC+DavidsBridal@gmail.com you know who to blame….

    Just food for thought in your inbox-0 attempts.

    • Josh S says:

      Well crap. I didn’t realize WordPress would hotlink those email addresses. Please feel free to delete that if it is anywhere close to your actual email address.

  2. Kristin says:

    Oooh, interesting! I’ve been learning a lot about deliverability for work, but I love the idea of being able to see how people are using my email address. This kind of makes me want to go through the lists I send to and see if any of our subscribers do this….

    It also makes me want to re-sign up for DB. I just might. But since someone would have to manually type in my email address, I wonder what they would think if my email address was kristin+davidsbridal or kristin+junkemail. Maybe it would make them just…. not enter my email address into their database. A girl can dream, right?

    (Also, don’t worry- kristinyc at gmail exists, but I don’t use it).

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