In the past week, I've gotten sale emails from JCrew (20% Off Sweaters!), Old Navy (50% Off Outerwear), Kohl's (50% Off Sweaters!) and Gap (30% Off Friends and Family). I tracked down every.single.one of these discounts. Here's what I found:
1. JCrew: Two words: FUCK OFF. It doesn't help one single bit to charge an average of $150 for a wool sweater. Are you kidding me? We're not talking cashmere here. In looking through all of the sweaters on Jcrew.com, I found not one thing we'd buy.
2. Old Navy: I went into the store, and sure enough, the coats are 50% off. On sale, they're running between $50-$85. That's pretty good. Unfortunately, there is no lining in the jackets at all, so La Gringa would look cute this week in New York, but freeze her ass off.
3. Kohl's: See, now, this one is probably more me than the store. Kohl's in fact, was advertising 50% off all sweaters. The problem is the fashion of the sweaters was from the FLDS catalog, made at the Zion Ranch by underage children!
4. Gap: The sale intel came out two days ago with a serious viral campaign, but when I went to the store today, turns out the campaign is for Thursday only. Ugh.
Then there's the true idiots. The biggest offenders right now? Travel & Leisure Magazine, Luxury Link.com, One & Only Resorts. Okay, so I know I've opted in for these folks, but are you kidding me? What economy are they tapping into? What planet are you on to market to me in such a stupid way?
1. Travel & Leisure: Boasting luxury getaways to India and Saudi Arabia this month, I poured over the mag trying to remember my travels in the days before a shithouse economy and life with children. But I couldn't get past it -- what was the editor thinking? What crack are you smoking? Where is my Hunkering Down Travel? Or Find Leisure on a Budget? Idiots. I actually threw the magazine away before finishing it.
2. Luxury Link: I've purchased from Luxury Link before. Sometimes you can even find a deal. But not now. They seem to have completely lost their perspective. Giving $50 off of a $15,000 week-long getaway is not a discount. Offering discounted upgrades? Only if you win a prepaid bid ranging from $2500 to $25,000 for a week. You better damn-well upgrade me at the cost, whacker.
3. One & Only: See now, you're talking about the holding company of my favorite place on earth. About five years ago, they took over for the little La Palmilla, making it a massive celebrity destination and completely destroying the small, quiet hideaway it had been for 40 years. Those bastards are currently offering a "discount" of 20% off for holiday travel -- that would make the cheapest room just over $750 per night. For the record, I paid $200 for the same room several years in a row.
So here's my advice to the luxury travel and retail providers;
1. Do one single thing at a discount. One. Sweaters. Jackets. Hotel room. Spa services. Whatever. Do one. And kill it. Bring the cost all the way down, waaaay down. Low enough to get us previously engaged users to reengage (those of you who know me will know I'm talking about the second or third quadrant of the P&G user).
2. Don't call it a discount if you're gonna be obscene. It's so offensive. Say, "Escape the Economy" and forget about your life for a few days. Don't tell me it's a discount. Don't tell me you understand. Change your verbiage to convince me that you are one of us. It's incredibly insulting to send me a discount that isn't one.
3. Work my loyalty (yes, the P&G third and fourth quadrants). Work me slowly, directly. Tell me you know me and my loyalty to your product, your resort. Work my preferences, mine your data. Get me to engage. And reengage.
It's gonna be a long couple of years. I'm going to need more from my email marketers. You all get an F. Go back and come back with something more engaging. I have a credit card, La Gringa needs sweaters. Come get my business the old fashioned way: earn it.