Email Marketing Segmentation: Mr. Retailer – We Don’t Like Schweddy Balls


This post was inspired by a Saturday Night Live skit.
If you’re easily offended by sexual innuendo and double entendre you may want to skip the watching the video.

Last year while looking for a gift for a friend, my wife and I settled on a box of gourmet “Schweddy Balls” from the Schweddy Confectioners, makers of fine chocolates and treats. Although neither my wife nor I like Schweddy Balls, it seems our friend loves them. We purchased them online at one of our favorite retailers. They were a hit with our friend and she told us how much she loved the “Schweddy Balls” we sent.

Since making that purchase, it seems the retailer has segmented us into a list for “Schweddy Balls” promotions. We get weekly specials for “Schweddy Balls” that we don’t really want. It’s been a year since our initial purchase and they just don’t get it… We don’t like “Schweddy Balls”. The one time we purchased them, it was for a gift.  We even shipped it as a gift through their system to another address. They know it was a gift yet they try to shove “Schweddy Balls” down our throat every week.

Reminder: When segmenting your email subscribers, a single purchase does not a segment make. Segments should be created with multiple points of interest by the subscriber. If I buy a book every month, then that’s a segment. If I buy technical books 70% of the time, that’s a segment. If I buy “Schweddy Balls” once as a gift, that’s not a segment.

So, now we’ve unsubscribed from all their email marketing because we had no option to opt out of just the “Schweddy Balls” promotions.

  • Bad email marketing segmentation can actually drive-up unsubscribes. Be diligent when creating segments, and make sure you always have multiple buys or interest/browse tracking that truly shows a segment of interest.
  • Also consider de-segmentation when those who have been put into a segment no longer act on those targeted mailings.  People change, their needs and wants change and they don’t tell you when or why.

Cheers, Chris