E-coming of Age
Over the years, I’ve made plenty of catalog purchases, but rarely simply because I was a catalog business editor. I only turned to catalogs when I needed something unusual or came across a killer sale. Otherwise, I bought my mainstream goods off the rack.
Today, that’s changed. And the two vehicles that have impacted me the most have been the coming of age of e-mail and the remarkable ease of search engines.
I find e-mail’s impact on me surprising, because less than five years ago, I’d delete any personal e-mail from just about any address I didn’t recognize. But now, I find myself looking at a lot of promotional e-mail — and responding to it.
As a consumer, I find that one of the marketers doing the best job these days is 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. Having gotten me on its radar screen with a few previous purchases, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM doesn’t overwhelm me with e-mails. It hits me with very specific offers that seem to provide just what I’m looking for — or not looking for. And when I’m not looking, the company’s offers have been enticing enough to get my business.
I got three e-mails over the course of four days prior to Mother’s Day, then a late June offer, two mid-July offers and one at the end of July. The offers are to the point: 30 roses for $30; a $10 discount; buy 12 roses, get six free. The e-mails make it easy to order.
Not all the promotional e-mails I get are as effective or relevant. For instance, I’m overwhelmed by promotional e-mails from Harbor Freight Tools that are more general in nature and of little interest to me. I typically receive one per week.
As for search, I’ve become a searchaholic (then again, who hasn’t?). Since I spend a significant portion of my day in front of my computer, I find myself searching for issue-related matters on Yahoo! or Google, and for particular products on those sites or Amazon.com.