A rubbish email from a big company

28 Feb

By Jonny Cameron
Don’t make the same email marketing mistakes as this massive company

Earlier this month I received an email from a big credit card company. Subject: We’ve got some exciting news.

Oooooh, I thought, I love excitement and this must be exciting because my usual association with big credit card companies is as bloodsucking corporations trading on the misfortune of the financially bereft in the hope that they’ll continue to buy now and pay later.

I opened the email and there was nothing exciting, but an explosion of self-aggrandisement and back-slapping that showed no understanding whatsoever of the customer.

credit card provider of the year

“Thank you for voting us credit card provider of the year” read the main heading of the email. This annoyed me for the following 10 reasons:

1) I didn’t vote for them as credit card provider of the year, I didn’t even know that I had a vote.

2) There’s something passive-aggressive about this heading. As if they’re saying “Thanks for nothing Jonny. And, in your face, we won credit card provider of the year anyway”.

3) Winning an award for credit card provider of the year is a bit like me winning an award for the hairiest-headed bald man. My head might be slightly more hairy than the next bald man, but alas, I am still a bald man. Winning credit card provider of the year hasn’t changed my perception of you as a credit card provider; something I only think about when I really need it and certainly have no desire to use beyond necessity.

4) As if we customers should be pleased or proud to have contributed to you winning the award.  You’ve mistaken apathy and necessity for passion and affinity with your product.

5) Bearing the above in mind, what in the name of sweet baby Moses was the purpose of this email? You’ve been voted as best provider by people engaged enough to vote, who were they? how many voted and what was the criteria? I’ve never heard of the awards or the awards’ sponsor.

6) Where’s the proof? The motivating factors for me as a customer, when choosing a credit card provider are better interest rates for longer periods of time and customer service. Why don’t they remind me how good they are at these things? I might even have recommended them to someone!

7) Where are the people? It even signs off “with thanks [company name]”. As if the corporate machine has taken on a life of its own, hoovering up its staff into an amalgam of sanctimonious sludge that belches out pointless, generic emails to non-engaged customers.

8) “It means a great deal to us”. Well I’m pleased for you, but what does it mean to your customers? Are we to receive  better interest rates for longer and enjoy even better customer service, because you want to win the award next year?

9) I must have missed your previous emails letting me know that I could vote in the awards and reiterating your unique selling points compared to the other providers.

10) I felt moved to respond! I don’t doubt that my fellow customers would have wanted to reply to the email and congratulate their credit card provider, maybe even organise their own street parties to celebrate, but I thought I’d let them know what I really thought:


“What a hideous self-aggrandising email. None of your customers care about the fact that you’ve won a credit card provider award!”



“Let me know if you need any help with this (you clearly do)

Best wishes


I hit send, only to receive

“Dear customer,

Thank you for your message. This inbox is not monitored, so you won’t receive a response.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: