Lead Nurturing gone horribly wrong


I just returned from a trip east to my family reunion.  My trip started with a little bit of tourist-ing in Charelston, SC.  Along the way, we had a bit of debate on picking a hotel.  I booked one hotel, and ended up canceling the reservation to try my luck at Hotwire (it was a success).  Unfortunately the original hotel didn’t get the memo that I canceled my reservation.

I canceled my reservation about 1 week after placing it, and about a month before my trip.  I booked the wrong dates on the original reservation (oops) and canceled for that reason.  About a week before I was scheduled to arrive, i received an email “we can’t wait for you to stay with us, here are a few resources and coupons for your trip.”  I was understandably alarmed, because I had canceled my reservation!  So I called to confirm that the reservation was canceled :

  • me:  Hi, I canceled my reservation a few weeks ago and I want to make sure it was really canceled since I received a “look forward to your arrival email.”
  • reservation agent: Oh don’t worry about that, everyone gets that email even if you cancel.
  • me: OK, thanks for the clarification

What kind of nurturing is that?!?!?! I ended up with 3 totally relevant emails: look forward to welcoming you, welcome, and a post stay survey.  This hotel was probably perfectly nice, but they have solidified the fact that I won’t be staying there.  How hard is it to remove people from the lead nurturing program?

So here is a friendly reminder: if you are automating your marketing don’t forget about the remove button.  No customer wants an email that says,  “save 20% on all purchases this week,” when you finished shopping last week.  Or a message about continuing to research options when you’ve already decided a product and are in the negotiation phase.