To the Marketing Department at [insert company name here]

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve received about twenty emails urging me to “treat Mum this Mother’s Day”.  They all have suggestions of products she might like and they’re all keen to remind me that Mum’s are very special, as if I didn’t know…

Image from www.interflora.co.uk (who did not send me an email).
Image from http://www.interflora.co.uk (who did not send me an unwelcome email).

This will be my third Mother’s Day as a mother; it will also be my third Mother’s Day without my mother. It’s a day I find hard to enjoy. Obviously the people at Hotel Chocolat, Emma Bridgewater, Tea Palace, The Sanctuary, The White Company, eBay, Vinopolis, Clinique, Mothercare, Benefit, M&S etc don’t know this, but perhaps they should. They know my name and my email address; many know my birthday, that I’m married and that I have a son. They have this information because at some point I’ve bought something from them and agreed to let them keep my details and send me promotional emails. I could decline, but generally I’m happy to see what’s available. Would it be so difficult to add an option to opt out of particular holidays or occasions?

I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. Several friends in the same position agreed with my mini-rant on Facebook earlier in the week. My Dad weathered a similar automated barrage in the weeks before Valentine’s Day. It can be infuriating, upsetting or just irritating, but it certainly doesn’t create a positive feeling about the company in question. Wouldn’t it be in their interest to allow customers to opt out of receiving emails that are likely to drive them away?

If anyone who works in the marketing department of one of the companies mentioned (or any other) would like to adopt this practice, I promise not to take all the credit – though a few freebies or a gift voucher wouldn’t go amiss. After all, I deserve something nice for Mother’s Day too…

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