I received an email campaign from Charter Communications yesterday morning that rubbed me the wrong way. It was for an opportunity to receive a Preferred Customer rate for the next two years. I can see why I would be a preferred customer. I always pay my bills on time and have a few of the various add-on packages. Rewarding your preferred customers is a great idea for an email campaign. Just make sure your customers prefer you before sending one. Otherwise the reaction may be the exact opposite result you sought.

The email’s subject line read: “Don’t Miss Out! Lock in your savings for 2 full years!” The chance to pay less would be great, except I opened the email to find the exact same rate I am currently paying. The rate is already so exorbitantly high that I have considered getting rid of my cable altogether and watching TV and movies online and using Netflix. The savings I was hoping for weren’t exactly the price I already consider too much. Especially since they were asking me to commit to two years to receive their so-called “savings.”

Upon closer inspection, the deal they were offering included little more than I currently pay for. It’s tough to feel like you’re being rewarded for being a preferred customer when they try to sweeten the deal with nothing you’re interested in. It’s not saving money when you’re paying for things you don’t want or need.

Perhaps that last paragraph was more of a rant based on my distaste for Charter Communications and less on successful (or the lack thereof) email marketing. The reason I decided to bring this up on the blog is simple: Before you decide to reward your customer, make sure it’s a prize they’d like to receive. I felt more mocked by this email than like I was being treated as a preferred customer. It angered me.

Polls and surveys are often an underutilized aspect of email marketing. That being said, they’re also an excellent way to gauge how satisfied your subscribers are. That way you can see who is happy with your services and award them accordingly. For the responders that are negative, you can reward them too. Put something together that will rectify their negative feelings toward your company. Then you can effectively reward your subscribers as preferred customers with savings they will appreciate.