What’s worse than bad e-mail marketing?

Overzealous, premature bad e-mail marketing:

From: Amazon.com [mailto:promo-core@amazon.com]
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 7:19 AM
To: Heather Hamilton
Subject: [placeholder for winning team] Wins the NCAA Tournament!


Dear Amazon.com Customer,


Congratulations, [placeholder for winning team]! As someone who has

purchased sports-related products, we thought you should be the first to

see our selection of NCAA championship products.




Available only while supplies last.


We hope you enjoyed receiving this message. However, if you’d rather not

receive future e-mails of this sort from Amazon.com, please follow this

link to opt out:




(c) 2006 Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.  All Rights Reserved.

Amazon.com and the Amazon.com logo are registered trademarks of

Amazon.com, Inc.  “and you’re done” is a trademark of Amazon.com, Inc.


Amazon.com, 1200 12th Ave. S., Suite 1200, Seattle, WA 98144-2734.


Please note that this e-mail was sent to the following address:


OK, seriously. Seriously? It’s not enough that someone in their direct marketing group had an itchy trigger finger (feel free to speculate as to whether this was a technology error or a human error). The best part is that I went to USC. And I buy USC merchandise (probably too much of it) though I don’t recall  buying any through Amazon…I may have. Now if USC is going to pull out a win in the NCAA championship, it’s going to be a flippin’ miracle (if you don’t know why, then, well…nevermind). Do they expect me to buy merchandise of some other team? Do they not understand that peoples’ interest in sports is, for the most part, team specific? Yeah, that means I won’t be purchasing the UCLA or Florida items featured on their site (shuddering at the thought). Know me better, Amazon…sheesh. Placeholder.

I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about how well Amazon knows it’s customers. The timing is interesting. This e-mail is three different kinds of wrong.


Comments (11)

  1. John Davies says:

    I got the same email, and I have never bought sports merchandise from Amazon or anyone else.

  2. Chris says:

    I agree with you… Amazon doesn’t have a clue.  I guess the biggest kid on the block can do just about anything he wants though – At least until a bigger kid comes along.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Now I really wonder exactly *how many* people got that mail.

  4. Ben says:

    Worst Job E-Mail Blast Ever:

    This is from a real e-mail that was recently sent to me (names have been removed to protect the guilty) –


    Subject: (Company Name) is very interested in interview you

    My name is (Recruiter Name) with (Company Name’s) HR/Recruiting Department. I recently have had the opportunity to review your resume and see a potential match for a position we have in the Northern Virginia area .  Please let me know if there may be any interest on your part in pursuing such a role with us, and if so, your availability to interview.

    As we are looking to fill the position as soon as possible, a prompt reply would be much appreciated. If you could, please attach a Word version  of your resume for our records and list your salary expectations.

    Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing back from you.

    With sincere regards,

    (Recruiter Name)


    Of course, I never did send them my resume nor is my resume posted anywhere on the internet.  It is most likely that they got my name and e-mail address through a local recruiter’s networking organization and decided to approach me via an e-mail blast.

    Needless to say, we all got a good laugh here in the office when I showed that around.  Is this how they approach all of their candidates now?  Gee, that bad grammar, overall vagueness and request for salary expectations must really generate a great response, don’t you think?

    I really weep for our profession sometimes 🙁

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ben, let me guess…you name was in a different color and font than the rest of the mail. That always gets me. At least make it not look like a template if you want me to respond.

  6. karen m says:


    tell me about it – get about 25 – 30 e-mails A DAY from some IT Recruiting groups (offices in America and India) – they always need help for reqs to fill and candidates they are trying to pass on

    Only problem is I run a Mechanical Construction Recruiting Desk . Don’t do anything with recruiting individuals in I.T. or Computers,  Never have, and never will- don’t even understand why they started or keep emailing me  –

    No I am not on any mailing list,  (except theirs) don’t use the internet to posts jobs, and of course my webpage never mentions I.T anywhere unless combined with some word of course.. 🙂

    I Have even called them several time to remove me, oh they said they will remove me.. But NO.  They continue..

    So now, I am just going to have to report the buggers – Am I wrong?  Is that extreme?

    Today alone I have 352 items in my deleted box.. just emptied my spam folder..  

    When is enough enough? when is spam spam?

    Talk about clogging up my outlook..

  7. You can find my opinions about what Amazon recommends and links to some wishlist feedback at: http://richhubbins.theclaussens.com/2005/11/29/CantRecommendAmazonRecommendations.aspx

  8. Wine-Oh says:

    Just ran across this article… Maybe next time Amazon.com can predict the lottery numbers.

    Amazon.com Jumps Gun on NCAA Winner

    Apr 4, 12:57 AM (ET)

    (AP) UCLA head coach Ben Howland chats with Luc Richard Mbah a Moute following their 73-57 defeat to…

    Full Image

    SEATTLE (AP) – College basketball fans may have been surprised to turn on their computers Monday morning and find an e-mail from Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) proclaiming, "UCLA Wins."

    The online retailer mistakenly sent the e-mail to customers ahead of the NCAA championship game Monday night between the Florida Gators and the UCLA Bruins.

    The body of the e-mail included the message "Congratulations (placeholder for winning team)," and went on to offer customers the chance to purchase an NCAA cap and other goods.

    "I don’t know if we had some Bruins who were wishful thinking," Amazon.com spokeswoman Patty Smith said, adding, "Clearly, it was a mistake."

    Florida won the championship game.

  9. yoodle says:

    Atleat this didn’t cost anybody except for pressing "delete" unlike many MS goofups that result in consumers having their PCs shutdown…:)))

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    hey yoodle, how long have you worked for Amazon?  (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

    I’m not saying we are without fault, but the topic was e-mail marketing. I can’t really comment on technical stuff since, as I think I’ve made clear, I am not technical.