Breaking bad news is certainly not anybody’s favorite use of email marketing. That being said, it can certainly soften the blow when there is bad news to deliver. Amazon did an excellent job this week of informing the California residents involved in their Amazon Associates Program of some less than favorable news. Due to a new California law, Amazon has been forced to terminate their Amazon Associates Program for all California residents.

They did it with a simple, straightforward email that addressed the who, what, when, why and how in an easy to understand manner. The first paragraph explained that the law had been signed to bill by Governor Brown and that as a result they would have to terminate the affiliate contracts of all California residents. They also made sure to address the fact that any money earned up to that point would be paid in full (sure to be a relief to those affected by this).

Amazon moved on to say they were sending the email to all California residents. They also gave instructions on what to do in the case that the recipient was no longer a California resident or was planning to move to another state. Amazon also made sure to reiterate the point that this was only an issue for California residents and that it would not affect their purchasing abilities from any of the websites under the Amazon umbrella.

The email closes by thanking those affected for their time participating in the Amazon Associates Program. Recipients were also informed that should the issue be solved in the future, Amazon would happily welcome the California residents back into the fold. Lastly, Amazon said they were searching for alternative ways for California residents to monetize their website.

For bad news, Amazon delivered it as well as they could. They explained the situation in detail and provided plenty of links for the recipients to obtain further information. Nobody is going to want to find out that their source of income on their website has ceased to exist, but Amazon did their best to alleviate any stress that this may cause. The one thing they stopped short of doing was saying the word “sorry.” Granted, this wasn’t a situation they caused, but they could have at least apologized for the inconvenience. Sorries aside, Amazon did an excellent job in delivering bad news to the inboxes of the California residents involved in their Amazon Associates Program.