Taking a look at Amazon’s mass Email Marketing system to see how it works and will demonstrate some smart Email Marketing solutions for how it could have been done better.
My Experience of Amazon’s Bulk Email Marketing Strategy
I use Amazon more than any high street shop or other online retailer. As a result, I get between two and ten emails a week from various parts of their online empire: some seem to be from a clear Amazon department, and some are focused on a specific product type.
My product purchasing habits revolve mostly around electronic goods and the odd book, but occasionally I get emails containing content in which I have no interest. I wanted to ‘manage my preferences’ and unsubscribe from these mailouts, as all good Email Marketing software should allow the recipient to do.
The closest thing I could find to get me on the road to unsubscribing was a tiny single-word hyperlink opt-out at the end of the second of 26 lines:
Managing The opt-outs
I was given the choice to opt-out of all special offers or not – that’s all special offer emails, even though every email is clearly from a different department. I clicked a few different email opt-out links and they all seemed offer the same option.
Delving a little deeper, it appears that ‘improve your recommendations’ is the option that controls the different departments and their ability to email you. I ticked the ‘don’t use for recommendations’ box on the categories in which I had no interest and finally managed to unsubscribe myself.
Getting to this point was a confusing and needlessly complex process.
Do You Still Want To Copy Amazon’s Email Marketing Strategy?
After that poor user experience, would you still want to email just like Amazon? The answer is most likely still yes, because they make a huge amount of money.
However, if your brand is not as strong as Amazon and the ownership of your market is not as dominant, could you get away with giving your customers that kind of mass Email Marketing experience? Or would people just get bored, de-prioritise you or even unsubscribe completely?
Further reading: How to Create a Winning Email Marketing Strategy
Your Email Marketing System Can Be Better Than Amazon
Take the model that Amazon uses, but give your customers control and keep them informed – good Email Marketing software should always give options for different levels of recipient control. The important bit is not to opt people into frequent emails that they haven’t asked for – it’s just rude!
You should always ask people what they want to be emailed about, only email them with relevant content and give them control over what they receive from you. Good Email Marketing solutions aren’t some arcane art, they’re just common sense.
Want to read more, download a copy of ‘Do you want to email like Amazon or better? or check out our resources section for more guides on email marketing.