Every Thursday I receive an email entitled “CARRIE, savings for you” from Dominick’s, a local grocery chain. And every week, it irritates me. Talk about your personalized email gone awry.
It is the first line that sets me off – “Your favorite items on sale this week at your local Dominick’s.” I faithfully allow them to scan my club card on every visit, which means they have database of all the items I’ve ever purchased at any Dominick’s within the last couple years, depending on how long they keep their data. And 100% of the time I’ve been on their email list I have never – not even one time – purchased the majority of “my favorite items” featured each week.
Here’s an example. I’ve crossed out all the items I’ve never purchased in red. Let’s take a look, shall we? Pinot Grigio is almost exclusively my white wine of choice, with an occasional Sauvignon Blanc thrown in for good measure. Just ask my poor mother how I feel about pork chops and I don’t really buy steak for my house. I am a loyal Pepsi drinker . . . I’d rather drink water than buy Coke for my home. And I never liked orange juice – not as a kid and not in a screwdriver.
That leaves the peppers.
I actually have purchased red peppers at Dominick’s – though probably only five in my lifetime, as they are a newly acquired taste. Hardly qualifies them as a “favorite,” though.
So when I open this email, instead of seeing it as a helpful piece of communication that would persuade me to shop at Dominick’s this weekend instead of next, I see a reminder of how the place where I spend hundreds of dollars over the course of a year doesn’t even know who I am. Even though they could.