The Great Promotional Mailer Overdrive

Contrary to what seems to be popular sentiment on the internet, I actually like advertising as long as it is not overly intrusive, has some form of relevance to things/services I am interested in and is not spammy. As a result I don’t at times unsubscribe from promotional mailers sent to me by various companies and in certain cases I do actually check out most of the offers. Of the many that I subject myself to, I like the efforts of both ICICI Bank and Ebay. So I figured it will be a good idea to track one of these companies for a month to check for volume for and quality. Below is the list of mailers ICICI Bank has sent me through November:
ICICI Bank:

Nov 30: Refer iMobile to 5 friends and get Rs. 500
Nov 30: Just activate iMobile and get a Free Voucher worth Rs. 500
Nov 28: Get 5x reward points for online recharge of Mobile, DTH and Data Card
Nov 27: Get 5x reward points for online recharge of Mobile, DTH and Data Card
Nov 25: Special Privilege: Rate of Interest now reduced on your ICICI Bank Credit Card
Nov 23: Refer iMobile to 5 friends and get Rs. 500
Nov 20: Get a Gift Voucher worth Rs. 500 just for activating iMobile
Nov 20: ICICI Bank presents Home Loans at fixed rate of interest for the first 2 years
Nov 18: Discovering Malaysia is now 5X more rewarding
Nov 16: Prepaid Mobile Recharge at your fingertips!
Nov 16: Count on us to cover your medical expenses, with the Family Protect Premier Insurance!
Nov 16: Money Manager
Nov 14: Rs 100 off on tickets
Nov 14: Presenting Culinary Treat - Minimum 15% savings on dining
Nov 12: Personal loans
Nov 9: Cashback travel vouchers
Nov 8: Redeem payback points
Nov 6: Activate imobile
Nov 2: Get Rs 500 Cashback Travel Voucher by spending on your ICICI Bank Debit Card
Nov 2: Get 3 exciting gifts absolutely FREE just for activating Internet Banking!
  • 20 mailers in a month are a few too many for my liking.
  • They don’t seem to do much of a finely tuned campaign. I am already using imobile, same is the case with internet banking.
  • Quite a few repeats.
  • The tracking is sub-par
  • Copy quality is average
The feedback for ICICI must have been good as this flooding has now been taken up also by their sister company ICICI Direct, but the latter’s campaigns have hardly any tracking enabled on them, keeping them at a much earlier stage of evolution.
Ebay India:
  • 23 mailers in all of November, 2011
  • A lot of effort is put into the creatives, they are really well done. Copy quality is also good.
  • They are pushing deals/offers really hard. Not surprising, since they seem to be flavour of the current boom (or bust).
  • The tracking is meticulous on the campaigns. Opens and clicks are tracked, I am assuming so would be transactions conversions.
  • Other than offers/deals, most of the mailers are content initiatives. They categorize existing items on the site.
  • Shashikant

    Agree, completely. Only strategy at work is spray and pray.

    I have credit card from other big private sector bank who send same mail about offers a dozen times a month. Unfortunately, these can’t really be marked as spam lest we lose some important mails.

    Another big elephant in the room is the new e-commerce sites. Many of them use different domains to send promotional mails to keep reputation of main domain intact.

    After TRAI regulation, SMS is no longer the preferred promotional medium. The UCE volumes will not going anywhere but up.

    • Don’t they offer you an unsubscribe option from promotional mailers? Thankfully, I don’t use many of the e-commerce sites. It is mostly Ebay, a bit of Flipkart and online ticketing for me.

      I am sure there are companies who can do targeting well for these set-ups. The mobile space is full of such operations, they even mix and match data between various channels in the west. I wonder why the online space has not seen many of them in India.