How an Amazon email marketing goof-up lost them a sale

I love Amazon. I think they are the best online retailer on the planet and everyone who knows me well knows that I use Amazon for everything. I will sing their praises until the end of the world.

However, that doesn’t mean that Amazon doesn’t mess up.

I woke up today at 5 a.m. and did my normal routine of checking my emails (and Facebook) in the hopes that it would help me wake up. Amazon sends me emails regularly with different deals or products catered to my interests. I don’t open many of them but I prefer getting them because every now and then, I do get an email for something I want.

Well, that actually happened this morning.

I received an email for “Up to 65% Off Select Kingston Memory Cards and USB Drives.” This was incredibly convenient because my last flash drive (which was also a Kingston, by the way) burned down with my house and I hadn’t bought another yet. There are ways for me to get around using a flash drive so I had been holding off, but 65 percent off the normal price would have been the thing to make me finally buy one.

Amazon email marketing mess up martyfnemec Communication Made Simple

The email did a great job of building a sense of urgency as well. The Kingston flash drive sale was the Amazon “Deal of the Day,” which means that I only had today to buy a flash drive using this deal. This marketing technique was very successful as I immediately clicked the link so I could buy a cheaper Kingston flash drive.

Then, something strange happened.

The “Deal of the Day” was not the Kingston flash drives. I was confused and I stopped for a moment and thought that maybe Amazon messed up and the flash drives were not the “Deal of the Day” but instead part of Amazon’s “Lightning Deals” that are featured on the same page. I clicked through all 37 of them and there was nothing involving a flash drive.

I decided to go back to the email and I saw what had happened. The “Deal of the Day” was for April 15 (yesterday) and I received the email at 3:01 a.m. on April 16. Even if I had opened the email the second I received it, I still couldn’t have bought those flash drives because that day had passed. Even if I lived in California, which is three hours behind Florida, the state I call my home, I STILL COULDN’T HAVE BOUGHT ONE OF THOSE FLASH DRIVES.

Amazon successfully assessed my interest and sent me a relevant email. Their email marketing worked and I was 100 percent ready to make a purchase and their mess-up lost them a sale.

Will this affect my love of Amazon and cause me to stop using them first and foremost over every other online retailer?

Nope. It doesn’t change anything for me. I am disappointed, but the value Amazon brings me far outweighs this rare mistake.

But this does bring to light that every company makes mistakes, even the almighty Amazon. The difference is that Amazon can afford it. Can your business?

Make sure that your email marketing is tested and analyzed deeply. Just like in my case, a lead can be ready to become a customer and a simple mistake can make it never happen. Unlike my case with Amazon, your missed opportunity may not come back and give you another chance.

Do you have an opinion on this subject? I’d love to hear it in the comments.

-Marty F. Nemec


My life at the moment (03/24/2014)

Many things have happened since my last real post.

I now am a full-time paid Marketing and Communications Intern at Crowley Maritime Corporation. The title is misleading as I actually do an incredibly vast amount of functions. The sect of Crowley I work for is called Crowley Technical Management, and my department primarily deals with business development, mostly through government contracts. At the moment, I mostly help write bids for government contracts, but we are kicking off a marketing campaign to further expand CTM’s online reach so we an secure more contracts. I will be the head of this campaign and will be in charge of the blogging and other social media content creation.

It is a giant opportunity for me and I am very excited to prove my worth so I can have a chance at getting employed here in a permanent position. This company is great and everyone here is incredibly helpful and nice. I know that I am in an environment that will help me be the best I can be. Plus, I can put government contract writing on my resume now.

How cool is that?

Things are going well and I’m sorry for not posting in a long time. How are all of you? Are your careers/lives going the way you want them to be going?

5 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Twitter Profile

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Twitter has been one of the most important social media platforms in recent memory. It allows instant two-way communication. It allows sharing with the entire world at the same time. This is good for businesses, bloggers and more. Despite all of this potential, many people never see tangible results with their Twitter profile. They “try” Twitter without knowing its rules and they leave thinking it’s stupid.

Of course it’s not.

Every time this happens, there are reasons. Twitter does run on “right place, right time” for getting huge, but there are ways to build a following slowly. The most important thing in getting to that position is having a great Twitter profile. These tips will help you.

Upload a real picture of yourself

People respond better to other people. It’s natural for us to be attracted to other humans when we converse online. There is something about knowing what the person you’re talking to looks like that is inviting to us. The default Twitter egg isn’t going to do much for you.

That’s why you need to post a picture of yourself.

While a picture of your dog, kid or favorite beach seems harmless, it causes a disconnect. Potential followers are confused before they ever even read your Twitter bio. If your picture is of a beach, they might think you’re a travel blogger or a resort representative. If your picture is food, they might think you’re a food blogger or a restaurant owner. The picture needs to be you. Your brand is you. You are marketing yourself. Be direct about it.

Twitter is not a beauty contest. You don’t have to be a model (believe me, I’m not!) to post your picture. No one is judging your looks. Followers just want to connect with you. They want to know the face that is talking to them. It’s really not that much to ask since you’re expecting them to follow every tweet you send.

The final reason I see for pictures that aren’t people is privacy. Some people claim they don’t want Twitter users to know who they are. Personally, I’m not sure why people like that are on Twitter. The entire platform is about connecting and interacting. If you are unwilling to do that, then you are not going to get followers, meaning Twitter will not help you. Whether you are using Twitter to find like-minded people or sharing your blog posts to get more views, there just isn’t anything here for you.

Use your real name

This honestly applies to all platforms. You need to use your real name. The reasons for this go hand-in-hand with using a real picture. You don’t seem like a very real person when your name is “Live Your Life” or “Cat Lover” unless that is actually a name you branded yourself with. Those kind of things go in your Twitter bio. You should have your real name because you are yourself on Twitter. People want to know you and don’t be surprised when some of your loyal fans start calling you by your first name. These are real friends you are making and you will be shocked at how much you will learn about people that start as strangers. I haven’t sat down with anyone off of Twitter for a beer and professional conversation about social media marketing yet, although I know some who have. I would like to one day.

Another reason you want to use your real name is SEO. Search engine optimization is a big deal and anyone searching for you using Google or Twitter’s search feature won’t be able to find you. Your Twitter profile is a great way to get yourself higher on Google’s search results and if you are proud of your Twitter profile, why not let people find it? Also, if you run a high-quality blog that has followers, it is a great way to trade followers from both. Bloggers can search for your name on Twitter to get connected to you on a more personal level, the same way Twitter users can follow your links back to your blog.

Utilize the profile header and background feature

There are many ways to use profile backgrounds and headers. Some people place a picture with all of the links to their social media profiles as their background. This is hard to do and requires some knowledge of photo editing, but it looks very professional. It also gets more traffic to your other profiles. Another way to utilize your background is to make it something personal. I made my background a picture of my lovely city, Jacksonville, Fla. I feel it gives my profile’s viewers a small look into my personality without me saying a word. It is up to you if you want to use it as a business card or a painting, but you need to put something there.

The header is very similar but it is behind your Twitter bio. It is another opportunity to flash up your profile with a personal picture or company logo. However, the Twitter bio is written in white letters, so you will have to experiment with header pictures and find one that you like, but doesn’t make your bio unreadable.

Think of your Twitter profile as an office. Yes, the office is still an office if you only have a desk and chair in it, but it is much more enjoyable with decorations and pictures. Make your profile enjoyable for yourself and others. I love Jacksonville, so every time I look at my profile, it makes me smile.

Use your real location

Many Twitter users like following people who live close to them. Finding someone who produces great content and actively reps my city is something I personally enjoy as well. It’s easy to see someone as a friend when the pictures they post are from places you’ve been to. The world is so big, but the city you live in is such an easy place to start finding others like you. Even better than that, if you are a social media professional and you interact with other professionals in your city, you can actually meet up with them and have brainstorming sessions. Isn’t that awesome? Obviously, don’t meet up with people you don’t trust.

Twitter allows users to search by location through the Twitter advanced search. That is another gateway to followers. I definitely recommend using it.

Make a great bio with relevant hashtags

Here is a great example of a Twitter bio by social media blogger Leone Kraus.

Here is a great example of a Twitter bio by social media blogger Leone Kraus.

The bio probably has the most functions out of anything on your Twitter profile. First, the bio offers a short description of yourself. What makes you different from the average person? Are you a teacher or a marketer? Maybe you’re a blogger or a construction worker? The bio allows you to tell the world what you “do” and this automatically gives you credibility in those subjects. I also recommend you add a little bit of yourself into your bio. Tell the world you’re a baker or mother. Many people would love to know you enjoy gardening or drinking wine. It’s a piece of yourself that viewers can obtain without having to get into a conversation. People with the same hobbies will want to talk to you about it. Conversatons like these are enjoyable and the mentions of your handle help your Klout score. I love conversations and try to respond to every comment, no matter what it is about. Feel free to tweet me at anytime. Having this mindset will make Twitter very enjoyable for you.

Like mentioned before, the bio also gives you a chance for SEO. Find common terms used across Twitter to describe what you do. People use Twitter’s advanced search engine as well as other Twitter search engines like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck’s to find people similar to them. Play around with one of those search engines to find what hashtags and keywords get the most traffic for people like you. Anyone who searches those terms could end up being a follower.

You can also link yourself to your company or employer’s Twitter handles. It makes you look credible as you are representing a company. As an added bonus, fans and clients of that company can find their way to your profile and possibly become followers. Don’t go overboard with this. Your bio should be more words than links. I would recommend keeping the hashtags and links to three or under.

These are the best easy tips I have for you to get the most out of Twitter. As easy as they are, there are many people who don’t use them. I can’t guarantee you’ll be the next big thing on Twitter, but these tips will put you in a position to start building a brand on Twitter. Go out there and use them.

Do you like my tips or have any others you would add? If you do, tweet me with them or comment below.

-Marty F. Nemec

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Infographic Thursday 7-18-2013: Social Media, Email, Business and Creativity

It’s Infographic Thursday, the best day of the week!

I have 10 infographics for you ranging from the subjects of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all the way to creativity, business and commerce.

Buckle in. I found some good ones this week!

(Click each infographic to make them larger)

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Do you like any of these infographics? Let me know in the comment section. I love infographics.

-Marty F. Nemec

View Marty F. Nemec's profile on LinkedIn