I had begun to believe, after a few less than completely tragic emails, that Mercedes-Benz had finally started to get their act together when it came to direct marketing. It appears that this is not the case. An email entitled “Prepare your Mercedes-Benz for winter travel” arrived last night.
It is late February, Mardi Gras preps are in full swing, the sun is shining, its 65 degrees, and the first bulbs are sprouting. It may still be winter in the far North, but even in Indianapolis, Chicago, and International Falls it is far too late in the season to prepare for anything. Winter is here and almost gone. In fact, in most parts of the country, people are knee deep into spring. Even Punxsutawney Phil is calling for an early end to the cold.
So why on earth would anyone send an email that encourages drivers to “prepare” for winter? This pitch may have been ok in November or December, but it is downright lame at the end of February. If I were under pressure to shill snow tires in the spring, I may have tried a better subject line. “It not too late to be worried about more winter weather” or “End of season snow tire precautions” would be a little less ridiculous. Every touch that direct marketers make needs to be relevant and timely. This solicitation was neither. There was also a pitch for a “genuine plug & play entertainment solution” that is buried deep in the content that had very little do with the rest of the message.
On a positive note, Mercedes-Benz did include a link to two of the four offers presented in the email. In this regard they only failed by half, a marked improvement. If you make an offer, make sure there is a way to take the next step. Don’t make customers search the web for the ability to buy. They most likely will not.