Email marketing thrives on imagination and inventiveness and the executives who supported the Tesco ‘Pricecheck’ will need such skills when coming up for excuses for the fiasco. Whilst anyone can make a mistake, those that are very obvious should, very obviously, be avoided. So what went wrong?
That is not easy to answer. The inherent risks with an open-ended offer are well documented and one would assume that these were considered and assessed. Budget management is an essential at any time: it is even more important under current financial pressures. When margins are being reduced across the board some risks can be too risky.
The offer to double the difference if Asda prices were cheaper looked good. It promoted the fact that they believed they were as cheap as their main rival. It begs the question though: why did they not price-check with those on offer at Asda?
If a company like Tesco can make such a basic mistake you might be feeling a bit nervous with regards to your next email marketing offer. With personal finance websites being so very quick to identify any weaknesses in such promotions you might think that you could bring your company to its knees with one good idea.
The trick, albeit a rather basic one, is that you must be able to predict how much each offer can cost you. The error with Pricecheck was that it was undefined. All that had to happen was for Asda to place on their shelves an item with the thinnest of profit margins. They would have a win/win situation, funded by their rival.
The simplest answer is to go for a straight price reduction, perhaps by percentages or maybe a two-for-one. Before you experiment a little, perhaps intending to catch the imagination of those on your email lists, work out the worst possible scenario first.
Perhaps a free gift has certain attractions for you as well as your customers. If so then limit it to a few on your email lists so that any slight miscalculation on your behalf has limited fallout. It is a balance, but one that is essential to master.