Friday, April 21, 2017

The boxes are ticked - but where's the fairy dust?

The Irish Fairy Doors Company is a very successful company with an interesting and innovative product. The culture of the organization comes across in the product and website, everything is just right for the target market [take a look on].

In my books I cover the subject of email as a medium of carrying a marketing message - be it sales, branding or relationship building.

It is now pretty much standard practice to send emails confirming an order has been received/dispatched/delivered - so The Irish Fairy Doors Company ticked those boxes when I placed an order recently ...

The links to view order and visit our store were included - so more boxes were ticked there.

But I cannot help but think they missed an opportunity to engage with customers ... where is the message from the fairies?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Bargain, what bargain?

I have bought Adidas Sambas from JD Sports before - so I was targeted with this email ... 

 £15 I thought, bargain, I'll have a pair of those, but when I clicked on the link ... 

  Offline, if you advertise a product that is not available you are breaking the law. Online ... ?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

No entry to buy a car from this website

I thought tricks like this were a thing of the past. 

 Yep ... I couldn't get onto this car sales website without giving my postcode. 

Question to owners: would you stop every car entering your forecourt and tell drivers they can't come in to buy a car unless they give their postcode?

No. So why do it online?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Email: timeliness is next to ticketless

I received this email on Friday December 30th – the day of the featured match – at nearly half past two.

Note how the message mentions; ‘ ... tomorrow night’.

And it gets worse. Open that message and it tells you that if you want a ticket, you have up til midday to get one. That would be two and a half hours before the message was sent.

Fortunately, I already had my ticket:-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Put a little more heart into this advertising

I have a reasonably healthy lifestyle and so I’m not really the target for health campaigns – but on the BBC this morning there was a piece from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) that mentioned an app to track how far you walk each day. Well, I walk quite a lot and have thought of such an app many times, so this was a prompt to check out the BHF’s.

So I typed “walking app” into Google – and top of the adverts was one for the BHF walking app. Its header said ‘free walking app’, so-far-so-good for BHF’s digital marketers.

But when I clicked on the link [for which the BHF will have to pay] I got this ...

 Oh dear; hero to zero in one click.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Unconventional navigation ...

... from an unconventional writer. Seth Godin is an original thinker, but his blog’s navigation requires the visitor to do some thinking. 

It even has to be explained [the ‘click on my head’ notice] – which suggests it is poor navigation.

Perhaps the zany-ness of the author should be reflected in the link-image?

Check out the site ... Seth Godin.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Follow these simple instructions...

As a non-techie, something that has always annoyed me is instructions written by a techie that are supposed to be simple. Well, at least they are simple to the techie.

Here's an example from Google. Note that how on only the second line of the instructions things go wrong ... 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What a waste ...

Whilst a lot of attention is given to the use of email for direct marketing, I have always emphasized that 'non-direct-marketing' emails can also be used as a medium for marketing messages. This is even more the case in the era of 'big data'.

Recently, I purchased a pair of training shoes on JD Sports website - this is a range they sell in store, but the full range of colour and size are only available online. I received a host of emails: order received; order accepted; order arrived in store - and then this one ... 

Whilst the other emails could  have included marketing messages, this one - as it comes at the end of the transaction - is ideal for doing something to engage me as a future customer. As I have purchased the same brand and type of training shoe [in a different colour] from them in the past, and that they should have been able to link my home PC's IP address with the order, there is a wasted opportunity in offering me some kind of discount for a future similar purchase? Or, as the shoes are often released in limited edition colours, an offer to be contacted before a new colour goes on general sale?

Nothing like rocket science - just good old sales. 

Oh, and let's not ignore the wasted ad space with the 'free delivery to over 500 stores' message - yes, I know, this email is to tell me my order was delivered free to one of their 500 stores. D'uh.

PS as an aside, this email could have included some kind of security message; e.g. ' ... collected. Was this you?'   

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Content marketing shows its age

Online newspapers are now little more than blocks of ads extolling us to read about the '7 most ... ' - or something similar.

On such a site I came across this 'news' story ... only it's a couple of years old. 

Note also the two poor examples of advertising. Yes, they are for cars - but nothing like the car in the ad, and so unlikely to have been of any interest to folk who chose to look at the article about the sports car.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

SEO incompetence

I get a number of this kind of thing – but if you do not have a blog, you will not be aware of the practice. 

This is a ‘comment’ made on an entry on my blog. I have my settings such that every comment has to be ‘vetted’ by me before I release it to the blog. Other bloggers allow comments to be published automatically.

This is spamdexing/SEO spamming, the intention of which is to develop inbound links to a website and so improve that site’s listing in the SERPs. 

Or should I say, the perpetrators think that such links improve their site’s listing. They don’t. 

Google looks to see if content on the linked-from page has any association with the linked-to page before ‘rewarding’ the link. If there is no relationship between linked-from and linked-to pages then Google actually penalises the linked-to site. 

In this case, the comment is automated and is there because the software used is matching keywords in the blog. In this case, the key term is ‘locked out’. But as you will see if you look at the blog entry in question, I was talking about being locked out of a website. 

Furthermore, if I was actually blogging about a problem that a locksmith might help me with ... I’m around 5000 miles from Denver. So Mr Crocker has used software that doesn’t use any geographic filters – or he hasn’t used the filters if they are there. 

So why do the likes of Mr Crocker use this kind of spam? Easy answer. They don’t know what they’re doing – or they have hired someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. 

Needless to say, I clicked on the tab 'mark this comment as spam'.


It's wrong for so many reasons ... so I'll limit my comment to stating that it proves my point above - but today someone called Mayazoe posted this comment as a reply to my original post. Note how he/she includes a link to 'buy backlinks' - another practice penalised by Google. 

I'll finish with a little quiz. Which of the 3 options do you think I clicked on?


Mr/Mrs/Ms mayazoe just doesn't give up!


And another for the 'mark as spam' list


Another new entry to the 'don't know what they're doing' competition ...


And another, same person, different message ... 


Another new entry to the 'don't know what they're doing' competition ...