I love shopping on-line. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money. Whenever I need to make a purchase I shop around from the comfort of my own home to ensure I get the best deal, and hopefully earn a little bit of cash back to boot. I try and buy nearly everything on line, with the exception of the weekly food shop which I prefer to do in person. Heck – I even buy my loo roll on-line, in bulk.
However, as I can’t resist a bargain, when it comes to the part of the on-line order where it politely asks whether you would like to be informed of future offers, I have a very bad habit of ticking ‘yes’. I WOULD like to know about every special offer EVER!!! Please constantly bombard my inbox with daily deals, buy it now or it’s gone forever offers and invitations to treat myself to something nice at half price. I would especially like to receive emails on my phone in the middle of the night accompanied by a little ping. I wouldn’t want to miss a bargain by being asleep would I?
These emails are powerfully persuasive. Even if we don’t click on them, their very presence keeps the company name at the forefront of our minds. They are a little reminder that we could be spending, we SHOULD be spending on holidays, clothes, household goods, health treatments, the kids, spa days, treats etc. They create a void-like feeling within us, and then we develop a craving to fill that void. As an illustration, how often have you felt perfectly satisfied until you saw a fast food advert and then found that you really fancied a burger. And then you either felt guilty because you ate a burger when you didn’t really want one, or miserable because you have denied yourself a burger, even though you didn’t want it 10 minutes earlier. Email marketing works in exactly the same way. All marketing is aimed at making us feel a bit unsettled, and then promising to end that feeling through the purchase of a product. And with email marketing you can click on that link and satiate your hunger for ‘stuff’ instantly.
Things came to a head over Christmas. I vowed not to look at my emails for two weeks as I wanted to take a proper break from work. When I checked on Jan 5th I found that I had received 250 separate marketing emails. And six from work colleagues. And one Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert Newsletter (which I recommend everyone should subscribe to -here’s a link http://www.moneysavingexpert.com )
Time to take action. And fortunately that action is easy. The law states that every marketing email sent must give the person the ability to opt out of (or ‘unsubscribe from’) further emails. Now the ‘unsubscribe’ link is usually tiny, and usually at the bottom of every email, and usually hidden amid lots and lots of irrelevant text, but it will be there. It has to be otherwise the company is breaking the law. So this week as each email has arrived, I have unsubscribed from it.
No more temptation. A nice tidy in-box for me!
Happy New Year!
Hope yours is thrifty, healthy and happy.