Memo to Borders: Test for zero value on promotional mailings

I don’t know what to say to the marketing team at Borders other than that they really, really need to test their mailing database extraction rules before they send out a major announcement. Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t motivate me to go to the store:

Borders Bucks!  Zero balance

In case you can’t see it, the promotional mailing enthusiastically crows “Redeem your Borders Bucks Now You’ve Earned It!” and then goes on to tell me that my balance is a thrilling $0.00.


This is embarrassing for Borders, but it’s surprisingly common how in this digital age we get mailings or promotions that have values so small that they’re quite counterproductive. A gift certificate for $0.03, for example, isn’t going to make you jump up and run to the store and use it.
I also see this with some of the advertising networks I’m involved with too, actually, where I get a Paypal statement that I earned $1.37 for the month, or similar. (The lowest earnings I get on a monthly basis, by the way, is from feedburner.com, an amount that wouldn’t even buy me a chai).
Maybe this is the result of the micropayment economy we’ve been talking about in the business world for at least ten years now? Imagine, if you could be paid a fraction of a cent for a single transaction, but if millions of people in China jumped up and down at the same time, oh, no, that’s the wrong collective behavior metaphor. Sorry! 🙂
Anyway, am I the only one suffering from this experience, or do you also find yourself getting oddly small or even zero-value promotions from companies that should know better and should be able to test for zero-values and omit you from their mailings?
Meanwhile, sorry, Borders, the $25 gift certificate I got a while back from Amazon.com is far more exciting than my zero-balance Borders Bucks.


Update! As I finished typing this in, I got another email from Borders with the subject “Correction: Dave, You’ve Earned $5.00 in Borders Bucks!”. That’s more like it, chaps!

One comment on “Memo to Borders: Test for zero value on promotional mailings

  1. I can see how irritating getting that voucher with zero-balance for Borders Bucks! that ius a pretty stupid marketing mistake as next time a potential customer receives an email from them they wont even bother reading it, thinking its not worth their time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.