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A Potential Pitfall to Using “To Our Favorite Customer”

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Last night I received this email in my inbox and I literally laughed out loud. As you can see it is an email from the PlayStation Network and clearly they are interested in me re-engaging with their service.

I purchased my PlayStation 3 last Christmas and in the midsts of setting up my account online, I joined the PlayStation Network. I haven’t visited the website since I signed up. I haven’t purchased anything through the store. I haven’t downloaded  game or movie or TV show. In a nutshell, I haven’t interacted at all with this service since signup. Which was over 9 months ago.

But what made me laugh out loud at the site of this email was in the subject line. There, listed in my inbox amongst my email was the subject line: “To our favorite customer.”

Given my past involvement, it is no surprise that they wish to engage me. After all, selling me content is a very important piece of Sony’s revenue model. But to call me their “favorite customer” reeks of insincerity. Now, I know that what happened was the PlayStation Network did a list pull of registered users who haven’t purchased anything in a while and blasted this email out. But what they should have done was subsegment out people who have never purchased anything and tweak their messaging a bit.

Perhaps a “There’s a lot to do at Playstation Network” or “You’re missing out at the Playstation Network” would have been a tad more appropriate.

What do you think? Is this a cynical approach to an innocent subject line? Or should marketers be careful to not blatantly reveal their lack of customer profile data?