“Foot Targeted. FIRE!”

It is by turns amusing and depressing when advertisers Just Don’t Get It.

My dad is in his 60s, and for the last several years has had the opportunity to entertain his ever-growing cadre of grandchildren. In the last couple of years he has taken the oldest few on weekend trips to a certain resort that has an indoor waterpark. Along the way he gave the resort his email address.

Now he gets ads in his email box for this resort… five or six times a week. He is booked to go again soon, and the other day got an email with a special offer on exactly the room he booked — including a $100 discount — but when he booked on the phone, there were no discounts because “those rooms are brand new” and popular. They have his reservation, but keep hitting him with emails asking him to “Come Back!”

Okay, first off, it would not be difficult to set something up so that if somebody is already booked, or, say, has been there in the past couple months, they are taken temporarily off the email list. As it is, he’s getting kind of sick of these ads, and will probably ask them to remove him from their list soon. Hey you at the resort — your overly incessant advertising is alienating your customers.

Second — you definitely should refrain from sending someone special offers that you’re not going to give them. Again with the alienating customers thing.

I donate blood on a semi-regular basis. I don’t as often as I used to because the blood donation company used to call and remind me to donate, but now they have been forbidden from calling me at all. Why? Because their call system was so bass-ackwards that I would get two or three calls a day, on successive days, from different people at different offices asking me to donate. Even after I was scheduled, I would get calls asking me to come in, on top of the calls reminding me of my appointment. Add the fact that my wife is also on the list, you can make that five or six calls* in a day. Enough!

Now when Lifesource calls, I simply say “We’ve told you many times before; take us off your call list,” and hang up. I’ll give again when I remember. In the meantime, they’re continuously in the middle of a blood shortage and can’t figure out why donations are dropping. Here’s a clue.

I would like it if the blood place gave me a call — one call — every two months to remind me to donate. If they could manage that they would probably get five donations from me each year, instead of one or two. I’m sure my dad wouldn’t mind getting an email or two from the resort with valid special offers, every once in a while. Companies that think they’re going to hound their customers into submission should think twice before trying it — they’re probably pushing away more than they realize.

* Not common, I admit, but I believe it actually reached that number one time, right about the time I pulled the plug.

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