top of page

Seven Common CRM Mistakes I See As a Consumer

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

Other than being a marketing professional myself, I am a consumer too and I get targetted with ads, SMS, and emails every day. Witnessing those CRM messaging from both the receiving and the sending sides makes me very critical. Here are seven mistakes I see often on the receiving side!

Mistake 1: Why are you promoting products that are "no longer available" or "sold out"

JolynClothing used to be my favorite swimsuit line back when I was a professional athlete. In the past, I'd buy their swimsuits for training. Since I retired I stopped buying swimsuits altogether. This means, that I am now a "Dormant" customer.

What are they doing correctly:

  1. They identified me as a customer that used to be a regular buyer but hasn't purchased anything in a long time.

  2. They are repositioning their brand in my eyes: targeting me with a beach bikini - not related to professional athletics, but for leisure. Planting this idea in my head, Jolyn is a leisure swimsuit brand.

  3. They are being on trend: high-waisted swimsuits are very popular this summer

Where did they fail? The product that is featured on the front (the turquoise high-waisted bikini) is not available (I checked!) The frustration I've felt browsing through their pages multiple times to not find the product that caught my eye in the first place - makes me not want to click on their ads ever again. I know I'll be led on.

Mistake 2: Why do you keep targeting me with the same campaign long after I already made a purchase?

I made two big orders on the fourth of July weekend, One was from aertex shoes (extremely comfortable shoes by the way!) and the other one from Sweaty Betty. Both purchases I made were a conversion thanks to an email campaign. The only problem was that I continue to receive "Last Chance", "Last Day", and "Don't forget about our sale" emails for days and days after I already made my order! What are they doing correctly:

  1. I only buy in sales. And so, I was waiting patiently for the sale email to come. They targeted,e correctly.

  2. The email template, subject letter, and timing were excellent.

Where did they fail? This is clearly a "batch and blast" CRM journey without any exit criteria for customers that have already converted. I continued to receive these email campaigns even after the shoes were delivered. This was very annoying and reduced the brand's credibility.


Mistake 3: Why are you reminding me of a "bad experience" without incentivizing me?

One of the most fundamental campaigns that tend to perform very well is the "bad experience campaign". It does well because it is personal, relevant, and can bring a customer back after, well, a bad experience. One day I got a "we are sorry for the long wait you experienced with Panera". And there was no promo, no incentive, no prize to express their remorse. What are they doing correctly?

  1. It's an easy segmentation for all businesses, and Panera targeted me correctly.

    1. Restaurants: triggered based on bad reviews, long wait, etc.

    2. Retail" triggered based on a bad review, wrong order, long wait to shipment, return of a product, etc.

    3. Gaming: Win ratio being under 100% (probably under 50% to make it worth sending an email)

  2. Excellent copy and a great CTA, at the right timing!

Where did they fail? I was going about my day and had completely forgotten about the long wait at Panera. But then, they reminded me. I then reminded how annoying it was to wait for 20+ min on a cup of tea and a cupcake. And instead of correlating a bad experience with a good incentive, they made things worse. Now I just got annoyed again!

Mistake 4: How did you miss the right timing?

Am I a skincare junkie? YES.

Am I a bride? YES.

The problem? TIMING.

Good Molecules is one of my favorite brands for serums that are affordable and simple. And somehow I triggered their "bridal campaign" with a beautifully written email about all the products I should use before my wedding to prepare for the big day. Seriously one of the most clever campaigns I have noticed from a non-wedding-related vendor. The problem? But it came AFTER the wedding.

CRM is all about sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time. If you do that every single time, your acquisition and retention are basically guaranteed.

Mistake 5: Why are you abusing my inbox available space?

Too many companies need to hear this: just because I signed up to your emails, doesn't mean I surrender to the daily abuse you receiving 3+ emails from you every day. Less is more. And, the more personal you can be with your emails while avoiding the "batch and blast" methods is better. All marketing-related activities must set a frequency cap. How many is too much? In my opinion, three relevant emails a week - is plenty. Otherwise, you will risk spam reports, Why Poshmark? Anyone that signed up to Poshmark can relate - they are boomblasting your inbox with three to five emails a day, it's insanity!

Mistake 6: Why aren't you keeping your promise?

The consumer's email address is an extremely valuable piece of information. Perhaps more valuable than any other piece of information. It is so valuable that it is absolutely worth a 10%-30% discount code to the business, which is why we offer a discount in exchange for the consumer's email.

Adding an email address to the CRM database is gold. It means we (marketing people) can map out CRM with this person and ensure communicating with the right person, with the right message at the right time. Unfortunately, some businesses are not truthful. Whether it is purposeful or not, the discount doesn't always come. This makes customers mad (trust me). People do not want to enter a business normal CRM flow without getting a proper welcome message, it is expected.


Mistake 7: Why are you giving me homework?

I personally think it's rude (especially when it comes from giant corporations like Target) to ask their customers to fill in a survey without giving them a gift card as a reward. It's not like anyone ever really just spending $5 at Target, so in my opinion, it's an invitation to bring people through the door in exchange for their valuable feedback (they will 99% spend more).

Still, it's perfectly fine to ask your customers to fill in a survey without an incentive. My question is, where do you find the hutzpah to ask for it twice?

Target, I don't work for you, stop giving me assignments with no incentive.

By the way, Target, this is how to do it correctly (courtesy of MeUndies).


bottom of page