In today’s world of personalization, it begs the question: when is personalization too personal? It’s on my mind tonight because I recently sent out an announcement about an update to my QR codes primer. I was checking my opens and click-throughs and noticed that the numerical tallies of click-throughs in my reports are live links.
I selected the report for my QR code primer link and, sure enough, there was a list of everyone who had clicked through. The report showed their sign-up email address, and if their name is in the database, it was there, too. I even had a mail icon in case I wanted to email them.
These are called “warm leads.” They are called warm because these people were interested enough to click through for more information but not interested enough or yet ready to make a direct contact.
This raises the question: if these people aren’t ready to contact me, why should I contact them? After all, they had likely read my newsletter in the privacy of their offices or on their phones while sitting at a stoplight on the way home from work. When we’re on a blog or webpage, we expect to be tracked. But when clicking links in your mail, on your cellphone, in your car, isn’t that different? At least . . . shouldn’t it be?
So here I have valuable data — the people who are interested enough in my report to check it out. Do I use it? For me, the answer is unequivocally no. But the broader issue is something that 1:1 marketers and their service providers need to wrestle with all the time.
We’re used to telling people to gather data, use data, build the depth of their database. Then we tell them to personalize, personalize, personalize. But aren’t there times when we should not personalize? Or at least recognize that there is certain data we should not use?
This flies against everything we seem to be saying to clients, but when we start making a distinction between what we can do and what we ought to do, that’s when we’re really marketing.