Special offers work. I know this from work: when an exclusive or a chance to save some money is offered and promoted well, customers appreciate it and you see a corresponding spike in sales nearly every time. Most companies understand this – but some seem to have taken it a little too far.
I once bought some posters on Allposters – a fantastic site: there’s hardly anything I’ve ever searched for and not found. At the time, I signed up for their newsletter, presumably agreeing to receive news about updates and special offers. I hardly expected this though: a special offer EVERY week: save 50% or free shipping or a £10 gift voucher. Plus every time, it’s being made to seem really special, containing messages like: “Hurry! Get there now before sale ends!”
Who are they kidding? First, it doesn’t work if they do it every week because it’s obviously not special anymore. Second, it’s treating their customers like morons. Result? They put people off their special offers, once they really do want to promote something special, they’ll have burned all their goodwill and no one will care, and most damningly, people like me start thinking of them as that annoying company that tries to trick me into buying every week rather than the company with an amazing selection of posters.
In truth, the fact that they keep on doing it might mean that it really does work (and I guess I haven’t unsubscribed yet). Personally, I much prefer Amazon‘s approach. They used to bombard me with newsletters, but now they send a newsletter once in a while with suggestions for things I might like, which they’ve devised based on my purchase history (and perhaps search behaviour..?) This makes me feel like a valued customer rather than a chump.