Email Snark-eting: The Stealership

I have a particular fondness for email marketing. I like to observe the ebb and flow of campaigns from certain retailers and, having worked for a while on the side of the fence that plans, sends, tracks, and pivots these campaigns, I admire the work that goes into them, for sure. From J.Crew and their frenetic sales pushes to the more mundane local stuff, it really is as dizzying as it is fascinating. It’s one of the local dealies that caught my eye today.

The dealership where I take my car for oil changes emailed me this morning, advertising, “Savings Going On Now..Hurry In!” with questionable ellipsis, so I had to click.

Questionable Savings

I open the email and the first thing I see is a coupon layout. Not particularly sexy, but it’s functional. I could probably read it on my phone, I guess, and would probably be able to redeem the coupons with minimal effort. The next thing I notice is the choice of a crashing wave on a white sandy beach…then I remember that it is, in fact, summer, and that these are SUMMER SAVINGS ZOMG. I pause to feel a little bit bad for the office manager who probably designed this thing. But the last thing I notice—the egregious thing, the reason this email gets some snark today, is the questionable math. Let’s look:

No. Nononono. This is exactly the wrong way to do a discount. It benefits the dealership but does not incentivize (observant) consumers. So no, I suppose it’s not untrue that “The More You Spend, THE MORE YOU SAVE,” in the most literal of interpretations, however, those are not percentages, people: they’re dollars.

Coupons like this are the tools of panderers, trying to make you feel better by giving you 3.8% “back” on the $653.82 you had to spend on parts and labor for that brake job. Whatever, stealership. Ugh. Great job picking that totally seasonal background, though: reward your office manager with that box of Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla K-Cups she’s been mentioning constantly, would it kill you to buy flavored ones?

This has been email snark-eting.

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