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Email Blooper

Sometimes the best way to learn from others is learning what not to do. I received the following email below in my inbox today.

This is exactly the type of emails you don’t want to receive as a consumer or send as a marketer. Here’s why:

1. I intentionally removed the sender’s name from the email because I didn’t want to call him out personally. However, the email said it was from “Gevalia Stainless Steel Bundle Pkg” and then it listed a person’s email address. The “FROM” line of a consumer email should always be the company, in this case “Gevalia Coffee” and should not list an individual’s name (unless your the Geico Gecko).

2. The subject line is not enticing at all. Plus, I’m not a coffee drinker. The only reason I opened this email is because I was curious as a consumer marketer.

3. The copy does not encourage me to click the link. It simply falls flat. Plus there is no visual in this email at all. Why not create an HTML email with the offer right there for me to see.

4. What is with that URL? The URL should be a link to the company “Gevalia Coffee”. Not a link that looks suspicious and I have no idea where it will lead me.

5. Who is “Gevalia Coffee”? There is no information in this email to tell me about the company and why I would want to buy their coffee.

6. “Write to us”? Huh… why would I want to write to you? Plus, how do I even know who I’m sending a letter to if you only provide a PO Box?

As you can clearly see, there are many issues with this email and it is highly likely it didn’t produce any positive results. You better believe I don’t want to be receiving email again from this company.  Did I mention I’m not a coffee drinker?!

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Black Friday Shopping Survival Guide

On Black Friday weekend more than 138 million people plan to shop according to a preliminary survey by the National Retail Federation. That is a lot of people and I plan to be one of them.

But Black Friday isn’t like any other shopping day; you need a strategy. After working at retailers during my college holiday breaks (Macy’s and Express) and many Black Friday shopping sprees, I have a few dos and don’ts to share.

• Do plan ahead. Check out Black Friday websites or your Thanksgiving Day newspapers to make a list and plot your course. This will help you spend less time driving and more time shopping.

• Do make a list. Making a list will help keep you on track and on budget.

• Do bring snacks. If you are like me, you’ll need to refuel every few hours. Pack water and food like peanut butter crackers, almonds and granola bars that are good for sustaining energy.

• Do wear comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Just in case you find the perfect pair of shoes, you can take a minute or two to try them on!

• Do wear layers and leave your bulky coat in the car or at home. One less thing you have to carry the better.

• Do wear a tank top under your layers. Should you find a sweater, shirt or coat you want to try on, you will not have to wait in line for a dressing room.

• Do check pricing prior to going to the register and ensure your merchandise rings up correctly. You will save time by stopping the sales associate if something doesn’t look right while he or she is ringing you up. Otherwise, you’ll be standing in the customer service line for a price adjustment.

• Don’t be afraid to ask the sales associate for a coupon at retailers that are known for them like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Belk, etc. The worst they can say is no or I’m not allowed to do that.

• Don’t head to Target, Walmart or Best Buy unless you are fighting for a limited number of electronics. Rather wait until later in the day to get the same sales without all the lines. Most retailers have plenty of stock on Black Friday and will continue to stock their shelves throughout the day.

• Don’t leave your purse on a dressing room hook unless you keep a good eye on it. There is an increase in theft during the holiday season. And this is an easy way for thieves to get your pocketbook while you are distracted looking in the bigger dressing room mirror. Also, be sure to lock your car doors.

• Don’t want to fight the traffic or the crowds? Stay home. It is highly likely (almost guaranteed) retailers will continue to offer special sales throughout the entire holiday season.

Do you plan on being one of the millions of Americans that will be shopping on Black Friday? If so, share your personal survival tips in the comments section.

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Have You Ever Been Bitten?

Just this week I saw a Revlon commercial for its new lip stain called Just Bitten. It comes as no surprise that the commercial features Jessica Biel and one of the lip colors is called “Twilight”.

I’m definitely not into Twilight or True Blood or any vampire related movies/shows so my perception of this new Revlon product might be a bit tainted. But who in the world is going to buy a lip stain called “Just Bitten” except for the tween/teen market. And maybe that is who Revlon is targeting, but I think this is inappropriate on two accounts.

First, the name itself doesn’t encourage me to run to the store and buy it. Who wants to be “bitten”? Secondly, if Revlon is targeting tweens and young teens, what kind of message is this sending to our youth? You need to wear lipstick to be bitten?

At a time when Sesame Street is trying to get kids to accept the fact that not everyone’s hair is going to be long and blond like Barbie’s, cosmetic companies are targeting our tweens/teens with sexual and superficial messages.

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Get Your Hot Rod or Jalopy Eyelashes

You can even get crystal eyeliner too! A company called “Carlashes” is now selling eyelashes for your car for $24.99 and eyeliner for $19.99.

According to the Carlashes website, “Carlashes is a new automotive aftermarket brand created to allow cars to be personalized with a feminine touch.” The company was formed in January 2010 and is based in Park City, Utah.

As crazy and ridiculous as this sounds, the company is getting major attention from national new outlets like CNN to blogs around the world. While a unique product like this will get the media and bloggers’ attention, it doesn’t mean people are rushing to the website to order the product. I predict this will soon be a figment of our imagination.

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90210 Fans Rejoice!

I was a bit perplexed when my old college roomy sent me an email today with the subject line “90210” and told me her co-worker came in with a shirt that said “Donna Martin Graduates”. It was just so out of context for me, but then hours of watching 9021o in our dorm rooms came rushing back.

Apparently, die-hard 90210 fans have been waiting for this day – September 2, 2010 or 9/02/10 – to happen for two decades. Fans are dressing up as their favorite character and hosting parties. Even Larry King is getting in on the action and hosting a party for the town of Beverly Hills!

I certainly watched my fair share of the show thanks to my college roomy. I think the three years we lived together it was always on in the background.

While I will not be dressing up tonight as Brenda Walsh or watching anything else than Hurricane Earl coverage as it brushes southeastern N.C., it was fun to reminisce about favorite episodes and escape reality for a few minutes.

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What Do Hulk Hogan and Billy Mays Have in Common?

Next week a commercial for a new line of pumice-based cleaning products (PumMax) featuring Hulk Hogan as the spokesperson will be released online. The spot is scheduled to launch as a preview on and early next week, and is expected to begin airing on TV the following week.

I’ll review the commercial early next week and provide my reactions on next week’s post.

In the meantime, I was conducting some research on PumMax, but couldn’t find anything online about the new product or manufacturer. Nonetheless, I’m not quite sure what the Hulk has in common with pumice-based cleaning products or how the key purchasers of cleaning products – women – will react.

Sure you can argue that Billy Mays didn’t have a connection with women, but his ability to sell is what made him one of the best pitchmen on direct response TV. Plus, Billy looks like a hard working, personable guy that would help his wife around the house. So it was very believable.

The Hulk’s credibility lies with wrestling fans not Susie Homemaker. In my opinion, the Hulk will never compare to Billy Mays and I’m doubtful PumMax will be the next OxiClean.

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A Throwback to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

When I was a kid I dreamed of a place like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. After all, Willy Wonka was the dreamer of dreams!

So when I heard this week that scratch and sniff wallpaper is now available, all I could think of was that scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the kids lick the wallpaper.

Fortunately, no one has manufactured editable wallpaper, but the idea of scratch and sniff wallpaper is pretty novel. Currently, Flavor Paper has three “flavors” in its Fruit Cocktail Collection – Cherry, Banana and Tutti Frutti.

Not sure how practical scratch and sniff wallpaper is and I highly doubt I would ever put it in my home. But it certainly attracts media attention and if I was ever in Brooklyn close to Flavor Paper’s showroom, I would stop in just to see it!

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