It is a lovely fall Monday morning. Birds are chirping, the air is crisp, the leaves are beautiful shades of red and yellow, and your typical work commute took 20 minutes less than usual. You arrive and say hello to your friendly, and even not so friendly, co-workers. All you can talk about is how your long, relaxing, wine-filled weekend couldn’t have been more enjoyable. You make yourself a coffee, sit down at your desk, and begin to settle in. Computer turns on and first things first, you log in to check your email. One sip of a coffee in and BOOM! You have 546 unread messages. FIVE HUNDRED AND FREAKIN’ FORTY-SIX. You begin to question yourself in a panic. Did you miss important work emails over the weekend? Is it a promotion? Are you being fired? Did your boss find your stash of mini wine bottles in the bathroom? Did you win money? Did someone die? Is Channing Tatum giving away his body to you because he noticed you via your numerous Insta-selfies?
After the smallest of freakouts, you begin to sift through the list. In passionate anger and disappointment, you realize that they all are advertisements. You decide right then and there that it’s time to start unsubscribing.
Sound familiar? Probably not, but that’s exactly where I sat earlier this week. As I began to weed through my emails and unsubscribe from rental car companies I never used, clothing brands I have never worn, and restaurants I have never been to more than once, I attempt to unsubscribe from Groupon. You know, the awesome company that gives you crazy-cheap deals on everything from tires to vacations to home décor. Well, because they send me roughly 10 a day, I click “unsubscribe here” and I am brought to their website. There I see this...
A hilarious little GIF that when you click on “Punish Derrick,” a co-worker comes around the corner, harasses Derrick, throws what I assume to be water on him, throws his cup, and then walks away. I immediately laugh and aww at the same time. I then realize right below poor Derrick is a “re-subscribe button.” GENIUS. I had to. Groupon, touché, you got me.
Did this happen because I work in Email Marketing and felt for Derrick? Maybe. Either way, it made me realize the importance of the relationship between brand and customer even if it’s at the point of unsubscribing. The other brands I unsubscribed from hardly cried. Don’t they know? When someone breaks up with you, you’re supposed to beg for them back! A basic, white webpage with the words in small Times New Roman font reading “You are now unsubscribed” aligned to the left is just as ego-crushing as a terse text message reading “OK” after a heated argument with your beau. NO! Spill your love to me, respond to my messages in 15 seconds max, tell me I’m pretty, and show me you’re hurt, dammit!
Okay, but really. What we learned here is that continuing your brand message and fighting for the relationship between yourself and your consumers all the way through unsubscribing goes much further than one thinks. Of the many brands that I had unsubscribed to that day, only a couple even attempted to get me back. Groupon managed to not only make me laugh, but make me feel better about their annoying emails by “punishing Derrick,” which then made me think “Okay, I’ll try this again.” (Sound familiar to anyone?) And for the ones who didn’t fall to their resubscribe tactics, I believe that Groupon has lightheartedly ended their email relationship, potentially temporarily, in a way that doesn’t negatively affect their overall relationship.
And for teaching us that lesson I say, “Thank you Derrick! Cheers!”