This week, I booked a reservation at a Marriott hotel for an upcoming trip to Toronto. In return for my patronage, I received this, an unsolicited email. It read:
You’ll also receive eBreaks ¬? 20% or more off last-minute weekend travel, promoted nowhere else! See a sample >>
We’ll keep our messages brief, fast and fun. Should you decide to unsubscribe, simply click on the link at the bottom of any email you receive.
Welcome to service above and beyond.‚?Ě
Couldn‚??t find the unsubscribe link fast enough. But that‚??s not where the story ends. Once I clicked on that unsubscribe link, I was greeted with this:
Without even consenting, I was subscribed to four different newsletters.
Why is all this such a turnoff?
1. ‚??Since you recently supplied your email address…‚?Ě
Yes, I did supply my email address ‚?? to get a reservation confirmation number! No one on the phone told me that handing over this valuable information was a punishable offense. I‚??m paying you to stay in a room, it doesn‚??t come with automatic access to my inbox.
2. ‚??Welcome to service above and beyond.‚?Ě
Ah, sorry, but you‚??ve already broken this brand promise by giving me something I haven‚??t asked for. And, make no mistake, this isn‚??t like offering cookies at your front desk and leaving it to me to decide whether I want one of not. This is more like throwing cookies through the front window of my house because you‚??re guessing that I may like them. No thanks.
3. ‚??Or deselect those you do not wish to receive:‚?Ě
Look at the screen capture. Three boxes are checked, one isn‚??t. The unchecked box is the newsletter I‚??m unsubscribing from now. The three checked boxes are newsletters I‚??m subscribed to but haven‚??t received yet. I have to uncheck them to unsubscribe to them all. So I was not only subscribed to one newsletter I didn‚??t want, but four. Wow, this is really ballsy. Stop trying to trick me with negative wording.
4. Please allow 10 business days for processing.
Once I unsubscribed, I was told that it will take 10 days to process my request. It only took two days to get on the list, but 10 to be taken off? So you‚??re telling me that there‚??s a chance that I‚??ll receive other unwanted newsletters in the next 10 days? I‚??ll keep track, I promise.
So what‚??s the big lesson here? Ask, don‚??t assume.
This is an opt-in marketing world now, Mr. Marriott. I was hoping you would have a better understanding of that.
UPDATE: Excellent points are being made in the comments below. Please feel free to join in and add your two cents.¬†