Walgreens gets it wrong when marketing to me
Here’s a quick marketing thought I had just now. I know I usually write about personal finance, but this week I’m stuck on marketing, so I hope this is useful to a few people.
Recently, I used my Snapfish account to order photos and I decided to pick them up at a nearby Walgreen’s. It was awesome — no shipping charges and the photos were ready in about an hour.
About five days later, I got this email:
What’s going on here? Clearly, Walgreens is trying to maintain a relationship with me and upsell me to their own photo service. I understand this, but the method is so clumsy that I can’t resist commenting. (As a marketer, I also know you can’t always get it perfect, so this is just my suggestion, not me blaming Walgreens.)
Here’s what Walgreens knows about me: My name, my email address, the fact that I bought photos, and the Walgreen’s I ordered them from.
- Their goal: To get money from me.
- Their message: If you click through, you see a page called “Celebrate sweetness” about using their own proprietary photo service and ordering prints or personalized gifts. I sincerely believe that I have never been described as “sweet” in my whole life.
Where did Walgreens go wrong?
And assuming they’re getting negative ROI on this campaign (I bet $100 they are), why is that? Let’s take it step by step.
They already know I use Snapfish. How likely is it that I’ll upload my photos to another service? Answer: zero likeliness. They’re taking a limited view of making money by assuming that I “should” spend my money through their service. But what about the other ways they make money? What about building a permission asset and giving people something they really care about?
What I would do
If I were Walgreen’s, I would take the same data they have — my name, my email address, the fact that I bought photos, and the local Walgreen’s location — and make a radically different pitch.
Look what the I get: A personalized letter that gives them a coupon for a service they actually care about (Snapfish). Maybe they could even get Snapfish to foot the bill. And Walgreen’s gets me to come in to the store. Guess what happens then? I’m more likely to buy something, and I also have to talk to the manager, who will be trained to upsell me on a new service Walgreens is offering — perhaps something relating to photos?
The best way to make money isn’t always the quickest.
Thanks to Scott Hurff for the graphic. Scott Hurff (scotthurff.com) is an entrepreneur and founded Fuego (thefuego.com), a chillingly great modern men’s publication served up weekly by email. If you want the best information on wine, lifestyle, food, apparel, fashion and anything else any classy guy should know, sign up for Fuego.
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