A regular reader writes:
I love Epicurious — I go there daily. A few days ago I got an email from them asking me to participate in a survey. I don’t usually do surveys, but since Epicurious is a site I use and the idea of maybe getting money from a credible source like AMEX sounded good so I decided I had a moment to spare (ha) and started the survey. After the third page is was clear to me that this wasn’t about improving their site or my needs to cook — it was about credit cards! I think less of Epicurious now. In my mind and probably that of many others, this diminishes their reputation and my trust in them. If One Degree is looking for examples of what not to do to your regular readers, this is a great one!
Interesting. Look at the survey message our reader forwarded:
To: [email protected]
Subject: Epicurious.com Wants to Hear from You Epicurious.com sponsored e-mail Dear Epicurious.com member, We need your help! We’re always looking for ways to provide you with content that you care about. Please help us out by answering a few questions in our brief survey. As a thank-you for your participation, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of three American Express Gift Cheques valued at $3,000, $1,000 or $750! Access the survey at: http://services.inquisiteasp.com/cgi-bin/qwebcorporate.dll
Thank you, The Epicurious.com Team
Not too bad, although I can see at least three things that could be immediately improved. Can you spot them? Add your suggestions in the comments below. Still, no matter how well-crafted the email is, the experience of completing the survey clearly left this faithful site visitor discouraged and upset. Upset enough to take those feelings of being tricked public.
Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 24, 2007.