Why People Dislike Direct eMail Adverts: A Mini-Case Study

NWA promo - screen shot in Gmail

Just got an email from Northwest Airlines. Given that they are part of an industry “hurting” economically, the inanity of this email campaign is even more infuriating than usual.

The marketing campaign promises really low fares on “select” days — as low as $49 each way, round trip. There is an enticing “Holiday Sale” link and the promise to learn “complete details” if you’ll just click the NWA.com link in the mail.

So I clicked…

NWA Screen Shot

NWA Screen Shot

… all three links … and all three took me to what looked to my eye to be the same, generic “search” box.

No details. No unveiling of what the select dates might be or even if my primary airport is part of the promo!

I picked a weekend not near either Thanksgiving or Christmas and conducted a search using the “three day” “flexible dates” option (which is, of course, only accessible as an option after the first search. Sheesh.). Destination: ATL.

There was hardly any difference in fares in the resulting grid — and nothing came close to the “loss leader” promise of the email.

Marketers – get a clue! Provide details if you say you’re going to provide details. Don’t set up a separate landing page just so that you can capture click throughs … set up a separate landing page that has meaning for the site visitor.

And if a sale isn’t available at one of your locations, then you should bloody well say so.

In other words, think like a friend, not a stereotypical salesman.

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