I just sent off the following to a company I’ll call “Wallets’n’Things”1:

Questions? Suggestions? Just want to say hi? We'd love to hear from you. Contact us at customerservice@walletsnthings.example or reply directly to this email.

I set up rules to automatically shunt promotional e-mail I’m interested in into a folder called “Bacn”. It’s like spam, but way better since I opted into all of it and want all of it, but I don’t want it in my inbox. A while back I added a rule to automatically file anything coming from info@walletsnthings.example into my Bacn folder, and everything’s great.

Eight minutes ago I got a promotional e-mail from Wallets’n’Things from customerservice@walletsnthings.example. It’s in my inbox, and not in the Bacn folder like it should be.

Please do not abuse your customer-service e-mail address for promotional purposes. I don’t want to have to automatically file any customer-service e-mails into a folder designed to be read once every day or two, and I don’t appreciate having promotional e-mail sitting in my inbox folder contributing to my unread-email count. I also don’t want to unsubscribe from your promotional e-mails, but if that’s going to be more effective than playing whack-a-mole with promotional e-mail coming from Wallets’n’Things’ different e-mail addresses, so be it.

All the best,

I’d generalize this suggestion to “make sure your promotional e-mails are as easy to automatically file as possible”. If your customers get promotional e-mail that’s hard to reliably file away, they’ll be incentivized to simply unsubscribe from your e-mail list. A handful of practical suggestions:

People sign up for your mailing list because they’re interested in your stuff. Don’t give them reason to believe that getting no e-mail from you is going to make them better off.

  1. I like the products that this company makes. Because of this, I don’t want to make a public example of them just because someone messed up a marketing campaign once. ↩︎