The Technical Side of Email Marketing & Other Ramblings

How well will Whole Foods do with their “One Day Deal” for today?

Last night while talking to my Dad about my daughter’s incredible ability to demolish sushi, he asked me about an email that he had sent me earlier today from Whole Foods (@WholeFoods on Twitter).  I hadn’t seen it yet so I looked while we were talking.  It was their “One Day Deals” email that my Mom received earlier in the day.  My Dad forwarded it to me because he knows how much my family loves Vitaminwater (@vitaminwater on twitter) and it looked like a great deal.  After reading the email, I disagreed, it wasn’t a great deal it was a FANTASTIC deal, 50 cents a bottle.  This is one third of the regular price per bottle.  Now I only buy Vitaminwater when it’s on sale for a dollar a bottle (I stopped buying it at Costco because although the price is a little less per bottle, the selection in the big packs were not what my family enjoyed) so this was something I would jump at.

So, I re-arranged my morning a little to get over to my local Whole Foods store as close to 8:00am, when they open.  I was greeted by a chalkboard sign outside of the entrance reiterating the email that I received which was nice to know in case for some reason my store didn’t participate or something.  It also stated while supplies lasted which made me a little nervous.  I got a cart, walked in and went straight to the Vitaminwater section.  This is where I thought I may get disappointed and find that it was just one flavor or they only had five but I was pleasantly surprised to find a large selection and plenty of them.  I quickly filled my cart with 50 bottles of the various kinds my family likes, took a picture from my iPhone for later use and proceeded to the checkout.  Both the cashier and the bag packer knew about the deal (and seemed excited about it) and didn’t bat an eye at the fact that I had 50 bottles in my cart.  They quickly rang me up, gave me my 20 cent discount for my four recycled bags and I was on my way.

When I got to the car I MMS’d a picture of my filled to the brim cart to my Dad and went  to the office.  When I got to the office I tweeted my picture and mentioned both Vitaminwater and Whole Foods in my tweet.

Here is the “Whole” point of my post:

I have since signed up to receive Whole Foods daily emails in hopes of another spectacular offer like this one.  Here are a few notes from my experience in signing up for their emails and my overall experience with my Whole Foods adventure.

One thing I did notice on their website is that it was hard to find where to signup for their newsletters.  It was a small text link under the “Welcome” section.  They really should make it more visible on their home page, I almost gave up.

During the initial signup, they ask me for my email address, first name, my local store, which Newsletter I would like to subscribe to, and the format I would like to receive it in.  After that they have a “Step 2” which asks for a bunch of personal information which will hopefully be used to generate personalized emails.  They are using a double opt-in mechanism which is comforting to know.  I used my Yahoo email address to signup and the message came right through to my inbox within a minute or so.  This too was nice to see as a lot of organizations have a difficult time getting through to Yahoo’s inbox in a timely fashion.

The confirmation message I received was personalized with a “Dear Michael” and a link to change my preferences.  It also noted that “We hope you enjoy your bi-weekly newsletters” which was what I signed up for so that was a nice touch as well.  I noticed during signup that they had three options for newsletters although when I clicked through to the preferences, I noticed that there are only two choices to opt-in or out of, I’m not sure what happened to the third choice.

I did notice that the deal of the day email that my Dad forwarded to me was not personalized at all.  I would have thought since the store was a mandatory choice in the signup process it would have at least included some info on our local store.  I’m not sure what info my Mom gave up when she signed up, however I offered a bunch of personal information during my signup and will update this article as I receive more emails.  One more note from the forwarded email was that it was very well done.  It had the right text to image ratio, the design itself was appealing (although it did make me think of Fall and Halloween), and best of all it was short and to the point.

Overall, I think Whole Foods is doing a great job with their communications and I look forward to receiving future correspondences from them.  My entire experience from my Dad forwarding me the email, to shopping at the store, to signing up for their newsletters, to enjoying my Vitaminwater Focus (which honestly helped me sit still and write this post) this morning was pleasant.  I didn’t want to be too greedy this morning (I thought 50 was a good round number) but I may go back after work, see what’s left and clean them out.

BTW, here is a pic of my award winning cart and thanks Dad for the great tip, much better than the time you told me not to smoke in bed.

Posted under: Email Marketing