Permission Or Submission

Since when did a hotel stay become permission to bombard me with several emails a week?

I'm not talking hotel chain, either. Those can be over-the-top excessive in frequency as well. I'm talking about going to a specific hotel and getting drowned in spam.

I stayed one time at the Las Vegas Hilton. (They get no link in protest.) Three unimpressed days in a so-so room at the home of the Barry Manilow live show. What's more, this being the nearest hotel to the convention center, I stayed there not for its amenities, but rather for its walking distance.

I could NOT be more disconnected from this place. It was like the Shoney's of Las Vegas hotels. I did the breakfast bar, so believe me, the comparison is fair.

Further, this 2008 stay was only the second time I'd been to Vegas, the first being back in 1991. Seriously, folks. And, I've never played a single real gambling game anywhere, at any time. In my life. Not even for pennies.

And yet, in the mind of some computerized logic, my stay has made me a prime candidate for every imaginable weekend getaway, dancing-girl extravaganza and spa treatment that this fine establishment has to offer.

It just reminds me that in the email game, ease and lack of expense are not justifications for ignoring the basic like the RFM model of response marketing. Recency, Frequency and Monetary — account for when was the last time I spent money with you, how often I spent money with you and how much money I spent money with you, when segmenting your list.

This simple model has its detractors and certainly it's much more important to mail where every package sent adds additional cost, but it still matters to relevancy. Because if we are embracing a more relationship focused and social approach to our marketing, marketing out of context can be worse than ineffective. In fact by contrast, a marketing program that totally ignores who I am repeatedly serves to completely annoy me, a consumer has come to expect more, and actively sets my ire against the brand.

Who knows? An email program like this might even annoy a recipient so much, he might write a blog post specifically naming the Las Vegas Hilton and recommending that you never stay there. Ever. It could happen.

EDIT: Corrected the dates of my stays. Had erroneously listed my last stay as 1998 and my previous stay as 1981. I believe I was in junior high in 1981 and definitely not traveling to Vegas.

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