Bronto’s Email No-No

by Affect Team on July 24, 2007

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When Bronto cold-called me in June, I assumed the message had been taken incorrectly. I even corrected the message-taker. “You must mean Pronto,” I said.

Nope, it really was Bronto, an email marketing software company, calling. (Sorry, Walter.)

After a short conversation where I declined the invitation to participate in a demo but passed along my email address to receive information — why not? I’m always looking for a better way to send emails — the folks at Bronto were strangely incommunicado. Typically, after offering up my email address, I receive information right away.

Not so with Bronto. However, I did receive this about three weeks later:

bronto12.JPG

A few small nit-picks:

1. Our conversation wasn’t really “recent” at the time I received this email. It came nearly 2-3 weeks after the initial call.

2. Why hit me with a “double opt-in” at this stage? I spoke to a real person on the phone. Couldn’t the real person send me a real email with their real name attached to it? (Preferably one that contained information on their service, who I could follow-up with if I was interested in learning more?)

3. Who is Susan? Why is she sending this email? I spoke with a man. If not from the actual person I spoke with, shouldn’t the follow-up have come from “info@bronto.com” or “sales@bronto.com?” The jaded conspiracy theorist interactive marketer in me wonders if Bronto’s “info@” and “sales@” addresses have already been blacklisted by a few servers.

4. Pay special attention to the closing line: “If you’d prefer not to receive email from Bronto, simply ignore this email and you will not be added to our list.”

Then came:

bronto2_1.JPG

A week later, it seemed that I got what should have been the email I originally expected — the one that should have been sent to me right after my call.

Is it wrong of me to hate seeing my name in ALL CAPS? I know names are placed into these types of auto-emails without human intervention. But caps? A little subtlety, please. YEAH, WE CAN PERSONALIZE! LOOK, WE PUT YOUR NAME IN THERE!

To state to the obvious, I never opted-in to that first email. And, this time, Susan wasn’t around to bring consistency to our awkward interaction:

bronto2_2.JPG

Who are you? Huh? What just happened?

Look, every marketer sends out a bad email once in awhile. A client insists on using the phrase “click here;” the CEO hated the first stock photo, forcing you to replace it at the last minute; the sales guy demands that you to bump up the font size on his email address to 24-point. There are almost always too many chefs in the email kitchen.

But, need I remind you, Bronto is an email marketing company. This is what they do.

Yipes, Bronto.

Yipes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan 07.25.07 at 10:01 am

Leslie,
“Yipes, Bronto, Yipes” was exactly right. This was, unfortunately for us, a great example of how important timing and every aspect of the message is to the reader, lest one deliver a quite different message than intended. We certainly did get it wrong here.

We have launched an internal review of our processes and will make sure that we get it right. It is out intention to employ email marketing best practices at all times but we clearly missed the boat here. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
Susan

Leslie 07.25.07 at 10:15 am

Hi Susan,

Thank you for your comment! I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my post. In my mind, it reinforces your company’s credibility in light of the mistake.

Please keep me on Bronto’s email list so I have the opportunity to sing your successes in the future : )

Regards,
Leslie

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