Stupid Glitch Watch: Reactivation Campaign Pain
By Ken Magill
It was the reactivation campaign that worked ... and then didn’t.
A lot of marketers are going to read this and think: “Heh, at least he’s not writing about me.”
But I probably am writing about you. You just don’t know it.
Last week I received a reactivation email from Musician’s Friend with the subject line: “Was It Something We Said?”
“Ken,” began the body copy.
“We haven't seen you in a while and thought we'd check in to see how everything is going. We'd love for you to visit, so here's a coupon for 20% off a single item of $49 or more.”
I am no musician.
However, my son is a budding saxophonist. So I asked my wife: “Is there anything [son’s name] needs for his sax that costs $50 or more?”
Turns out he needed reeds. We found a box that cost more than $50 and I began to go through the order process.
The coupon code didn’t work. I tried again and the coupon code didn’t work again.
I clicked on live chat, got a rep and he gave me another coupon code. I kept hitting the back button on my browser and couldn’t for the life of me find a place to enter the new coupon code.
The chat rep kept directing me and I kept failing—probably my fault, to be sure.
Finally I typed: “I give up. I’m going to place this order over the phone.”
I got a friendly teleservices rep on the phone. He tried both the original coupon code and the one supplied by the chat rep. Neither worked.
The telephone rep put me on hold and then somehow got the discount applied.
Just before we hung up, I said: “You need to go to someone in your marketing department, preferably someone in charge of email marketing, and tell them the reactivation campaign that just went out is having problems.”
He indicated he didn’t understand what I was telling him, so I said: “Look: I responded to an email campaign that went out less than an hour ago. It’s why I just placed an order. My coupon code didn’t work. It’s likely I’m not the only one who had this problem and someone in your marketing department is going to want to know about it.”
Rep: “Well, you can go to comments and describe your experience.”
Me: “No. I my order’s been placed. I don’t care about this. This isn’t important to me. It’s important to you, or at least it’s important to your business. You need to tell someone in marketing the email reactivation campaign that just went out within the last hour isn’t working because of a coupon glitch.”
As we got off the phone I got the distinct impression his rear end wasn’t leaving his seat anytime soon and that when it did, it would be for a trip to the bathroom.
Here’s the deal: I know teleservices reps aren’t always the most dedicated staffers. I also understand I may have been on the phone with an exception at Musician’s Friend rather than the rule.
But at the risk of stating the obvious, inbound call-center reps are on the front lines of your business and if something’s up with an outbound campaign, they will naturally often be the first to know about it.
If they are—for whatever reason—unmotivated to communicate with outbound-marketing management, any given campaign could be leaking cash due to a technical glitch with no chance for a timely remedy.
The lesson for email marketing managers: If you don’t have an ongoing dialog with inbound call-center management, get to work on establishing it. You’re supposed to be on the same team, after all.