After a recent office supply run, I happily provided my email address one letter at a time to the friendly cashier in exchange for the promise of digital receipt. A few days later I received not only my receipt, but also a message thanking me for joining the Office Depot mailing list. Though it was cloaked in politeness and gratitude, the real message in this email was that I had no choice. By opting for the convenience of a digital receipt, I was automatically subscribed to an email newsletter that I didn’t want or ask for.
No one likes feeling like her choices have been made for her, and marketers who employ this sneaky technique are doing their brands a disservice. By letting customers make choices about when, how, and why they’re contacted, companies cement a healthier relationship, and customers get more relevant information and promotions.