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Dec 6 / Amy

I (don’t) want to be a Toys “R” Us email subscriber any more…

I don’t know about you, but I hate my email inbox being assaulted by brands.  Clearly, I had enough of Overstock.com to write a post about them not too long ago.  I wasn’t sure that I’d ever find a brand that was worse.

Well, I did.

As I’ve discussed before, we’re expecting a little boy come January, so as part of all that fun we setup a registry with Babies “R” Us, and I said, “Sure, send me emails!” thinking I’d get emails from Babies “R” Us (BRU), which I do, but I also started getting emails for Toys “R” Us (TRU).  At first, it was kind of annoying, but I just deleted them as they came in.  I mean really, I don’t even have a child yet, and while a Dip ‘n Dots Ice Cream Maker might be cool to have (you know I love my ice cream), getting emails about it and other toys for kids aren’t really applicable for my current situation.

I decided to do a little experiment right around Black Friday when I realized I was getting multiple emails from both BRU and TRU in a day.  I went back to my deleted emails and restored them, and filed them away with a BRU/TRU tag in Gmail.  I wanted to know exactly how many emails I received from them in the month of November.

The answer to this question is: 82.  Yes, EIGHTY TWO.

In 30 days.

WHA????

Here’s the breakdown of #’s of emails sent by brand:

Ridiculous number of emails sent in November…

And here’s a table breaking down the number of emails per brand by day:

Breakdown of the 82 emails from BRU & TRU (Note the 6 emails received on Black Friday)

Now I know I have the option to opt-out, but I do want to receive the BRU emails moving forward.  And while I haven’t tested it out (just yet), I’m afraid that if I opt-out, it’ll opt me out of both TRU and BRU emails, you know, because when I opted into one, I got both…

They do have a preference center where you can update your preferences, BUT, you have to create an account to do so.

Really guys?  It shouldn’t be this hard to update what I want or don’t want to receive from you.  What’s more annoying is that I have a registry account with the site, but that account login doesn’ t work when I try to login to update my preferences.  This means that I’d have to create a DIFFERENT account just to modify my preferences.  Ugh.

These sloppy steps are how brands will quickly lose subscribers, because it’s not worth jumping through hoops to modify preferences when they can easily opt-out from everything.  Of course, if you aren’t bombarding your database daily, chances are you don’t have people banging on the door to stop receiving your offers/emails.

In addition to the above, I use Gmail for my personal email address.  They’ve recently changed how they handle the delivery of emails.  If they see that you’re not opening or just deleting emails from a particular sender over and over again, they start automatically putting them in your Spam folder.  Smart email?  I think so.  I looked in my Spam folder today and realized about 5-6 emails from TRU and BRU had ended up in my spam folder.  I indicated the BRU email wasn’t spam, but left the TRU ones there to be deleted.  Going to keep an eye out on this over the next few weeks to see if it continues.

Toys “R” Us, if someone internally is reading this – please feel free to share the link around, spread the word. Fix this.  You really should put some kind of frequency control around your emails/messaging.  Polling other parental friends, they delete your emails too – because you send too many.  If you have an agency behind your marketing email calendar – fire them. Find a new one.  If you’re doing this all internally, find someone that can help with your strategy.  Seriously.  Batch and blast is no longer the best option out there.  Be smarter about what you’re doing with your subscribers!

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