Can You Market To Your Customers Too Much? YES

I’ve been a VistaPrint customer for a few years now, mostly because they offer prices that can’t matched by anyone local – and the print quality is excellent. But I’m amazed at how often they send me “specials”. Just for fun I kept track of all of the messages I recieved from them over a nine day period:

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Six messages over a nine day period? That’s an average of one message every 36 hours. They all pretty much contain the same deals as well – every one offers 99 cent business cards, so after a while (a short while) as a customer I don’t percieve their “specials” as being special at all. It’s like that store in the mall that has had a “90% Going Out of Business Sale” banner hung over their storefront for the past two years. The value of the marketing effort is diminished, if not destroyed, by over-use. And in some ways, it can even backfire: I’m starting to resent VistaPrint for their insanely high volume of email. I could unsubscribe from their mailing list – yes – but since I do order products from them every couple of months I’d have to sign up again and again. So instead I delete their messages as soon as I see them, without even looking, pausing only when I need their products. Hardly an ideal situation to put a long-term customer in, is it?

Ideally as a customer I’d like to control the frequency that I’m marketed to: if the company decides that sending out a promotion every 36 hours is good business for them, I’d like to recieve their best deals once ever two weeks. Give control to your customer and he’ll be more receptive to your marketing efforts.

  • idawgik

    I’m also a VistaPrint customer, have been for about a year now, I’ve ordered some business cards for my freelance web design business from them.

    I think the amount of emails they send (practically once a day) to be insane. Especially given the frequency of them running the same “specials”.

    I’m honestly almost at the point of looking for a different printing company because I’m sick of my inbox being flooded by their fairly useless emails, especially when I don’t check my email every day.

    I think businesses should keep to a once a week schedule at max (unless it’s a retailer during the holiday season) and try to keep the promotions fresh and new, and not run the same things over and over again.

  • Glad to hear I’m not the only one that things this – thanks for the comment!

  • Vinny

    I actually stopped buying cards from them for exactly this reason. Frankly it’s not worth the slight savings to get their constant and incessant “promotions.”

  • Neil

    Same same. I placed one order with them and now I get both the e- and paper mail. Insane!

    Neil

  • ctmagnus

    TigerDirect, anyone?

  • idawgik

    Yeah, TigerDirect is another one I get almost daily emails for, although they at least have a more varied newsletter than Vista Print.

    I just checked my email, and I already have a grand total of TWO of the exact same newsletter sent to me this morning, no less than an hour apart.

  • Same here for TigerDirect – I unsubscribed from their mailings because the volume was just too high. Why can’t these companies grasp that less is more when it comes to communication?

  • Vinny

    Ya know, I just remembered something. On the site whocalled.us there’s a number that people got hundreds of calls for on a regular basis. They would call, you’d hear dead air, and then a click. Over and over again. Finally, one guy started calling the number again and again and found out it was Vistaprint and they were calling him because he had bought cards from them months ago.

    Bastards.

  • Wow, glad you mentioned this. We signed up for Vista print a couple years ago for a rush job. I was not impressed with the quality of their cards, and like you mention, they spammed the hell out of us afterwards.