Please, Stop Sending Purposeless Emails

This afternoon, I received what one would think is an innocuous email:

Happy Birthday, joshe!

Happy Birthday, joshe!

However, there are so many glaring mistakes in this email, it’s hard to choose where to start. How about this, I’ll start with two simple questions:

  1. Who sent this email?
  2. Why was this email sent?

The first question is relatively hard to answer. I’m not sure I’m aware of a person or group named, “Personal Finance, Personal Budget and Budget Tool Forums – Mint.com.” So, is Mint.com sending me a birthday reminder? Is it from their forum? Is it from an internal group at Intuit (the owners of Mint.com)?

Let’s ignore the first question, and just assume the email came from Mint.com, the entire company. Now we have to deal with the second question: Why was this email sent? There is no content that I couldn’t have lived without in order to continue to have a good relationship with Mint.com. In fact, there’s a bunch of bad content in the email: First, today is not my birthday. This note came a cool 2 weeks early. Actually, this message is post-marked with a 2009 send date…so it’s 50 weeks late. Second, they called me “joshe.” That’s not even my real name. I just can’t think of a single reason I should receive this message.

So now I’m assuming the email was sent in error. And now that I’m thinking that Mint.com has made an error, I’m left to wonder what kind of other errors they could be making with my personal finance data.

Folks, my message here is simple: be careful with the emails you send out on behalf of your company. Email seems cheap, or even free, but every email you send has a cost to your users. Don’t send out birthday reminders. Don’t send value-less messages that have no calls to action. Oh, and please choose a sent-from name that makes sense to people outside your organization.

Thanks.

Leave a Reply