I just got an email from Tony Divino Toyota, a local dealer that I’ve generally used to service my Toyota Prius. It’s been the subject of two recalls so far, and they’ve done the work for me. As far as their service goes, I have no complaints.
Then I got an email titled “An Important Message About Your Vehicle”.
Was is another recall? Was it a reminder that my tires probably needed to be replaced soon? A recommendation that I come in and have my brakes inspected? Notice that they’d forgotten to tighten something completely the last time they serviced it? No.
What was it? And advertisement for an extended warranty. An ad!
Not only that, an ad that they likely knew I’d simply throw away, they apparently decided to try an “hook” me by misleading me.
Well, congratulations, Tony Divino Toyota, it worked. I opened the email. I read it. I realized it’s not “important” at all. I replied to your message that it’s not “important” and that I feel you deliberately lied to me. But you didn’t even have the fortitude to use are REAL reply-to address! Did you know you’d get a backlash of angry customers and didn’t want to field the complaints? I have to assume so.
In any event, some of your customers have web sites and are connected to social networks… hopefully the word will get back to you “through the grape vine”. If not, on well. You just turned a loyal customer into a hater.
If you’re interested, here’s what I tried to send you:
That’s not an “important message about my vehicle”. An “important message about my vehicle” would be a recall notice, a reminder that my tires or break pads were due to be replaced.
Ad advertisement about why I “need” to buy some additional product or service is NOT an “important message about my vehicle”.
Titling your message that way implies that you think I’m stupid. It’s a method to “hijack” my attention to get me to read your unsolicited email.
It’s not appreciated, and it’s not appropriate.
You’ve spent a lot of time building up your “a bit too honest?” tagline… and have thrown it all away with emails like these.
A company who stoops to this to get me to open an email IMMEDIATELY loses my trust. After all, if I can’t trust you to be honest with your emails, how can I trust you to be honest with your repair service or your car sales?
– Joe Levi