Dear Big Company: Why Your Best Customer Offer Doesn’t Cut It!

The Wrong Kind of Attention


As I checked my bulk email, a subject line stood out to me. It read …

Only For Our Best Customers > Charisma Now On Sale!

I thought. there’s an “almost clever” idea meant to get me to look inside.
Charisma is the name of a bedding product line the company sells. I’ve bought it in the past and I am a fan. So the email ad should have made positive points … right?

It had the opposite effect. Here’s why.

Dear Big Company: Why Your Best Customer Offer Doesn’t Cut It

From the moment I read the subject line, my mind was brought to the offer not to the product. I was thinking What makes me a best customer and what’s so special about this best customer offer? That’s a doubly dangerous line to walk. After all, something ONLY for best customers really should be something exclusive and highly rewarding.

  • A “Best Customer Offer” Needs to Be Exclusive If they call me a best customer, I need to know what got me there. Am I truly a member of that exclusive best customer club or do they “say that to every girl’? I was doubtful about my “best customer-ness.” I haven’t bought from this big company for over two years.

    I found my doubt confirmed by the words under the ad.
    This offer “only for our best customers also said …

    If you received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe to our email list, click here.

    and something like …

    You received this email because you have subscribed to promotional emails from [The Big Company]

    So everyone on their list and anyone they pass the email onto is a best customer?

  • A Best Customer Offer Should Be Best Customer Rewarding If you call attention to my best customer-ness, I would think you’re trying to encourage best customer kind of behavior. So the next “best” requirement would be a Best Customer offer that seduce me into being a Best Customer — an unforgettable sale of such value that I not only stocked up for my own home, but also encouraged my friends to do it too. Unfortunately, the sale prices I discovered matched every other sale The Big Company has sent me.
  • Dear Big Company:

    Your “Best Customer” offer backfired on me.

    If you want me to read your ad and buy your product, don’t lie to me. It shows no respect for either one of us and takes the focus off the value of your product. In fact, it gets me wondering about things like these:

    • Is a best customer anyone with an email address on your list? Would you include the guy on the corner flashing open a trench coat saying “Hey look at this!”
    • Is your company in trouble that you have to resort to this? Are you like the guy who’ll say anything to get a date and doesn’t care who it’s with?
    • Did you think about who would read this email? Or were you so busy trying to sell me that you forgot that I might actually want to trust what you’re saying?

    “If you’re going to lie to me, at least have the decency to be convincing.” If this is your best truth, you need a better plan to get “best customers” to fall in love with you again. Because saying the equivalent to …

    You’re my best girlfriend and I offer you the same thing I give every girl even the ones I don’t know yet.

    just doesn’t cut it.

    If I’m a best customer, I want to feel like you care about me. A better subject line might read …

    Wake Up with Charisma! Sweet Dreams and Savings Sale!

    then don’t tell me … show me.

    Be irresistible.

    –ME “Liz” Strauss
    Work with Liz on your business!!


  1. says

    It’s so easy to gather insights on your customers that these generic tactics should have been retired years ago. People want to feel special, but this falls short – way short!

    If they have your email address, shouldn’t they also have your name? And if you’re that meaningful of a customer, wouldn’t they know why? I also have to throw in that price shouldn’t be the leading factor for your most-valued customers to buy your product. An exclusive product offer, a sneak peak, etc. are the tactics that loyal customers want.

    Great letter to Big Company, Liz – I hope they’re listening.

  2. says

    Yeah, it’s no fun when you realize you’re special just like everyone else. :-p

    Some companies could afford to be more self conscious about their marketing. Customers are growing more sophisticated by the day. Marketing which is obviously marketing is BAD marketing.

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