unnecessary information

tremaine.friske 3 years ago updated by Aymeric (Founder) 2 years ago 8

most of your emails never made it to my inbox, and the ones that did were extremely unhelpful. It's a week planner, not a dialysis machine. Your emails are autoflagging as spam, and I almost manually flagged it the same. Review your email practices.


Hi there,

We are  sorry to  hear about your   concern and  we  appreciate   the feedback.  If we may ask which  email  made it to your inbox  to help us determine which ones  failed to go through and  be  able to check further?

the 3rd of 6 emails made it to my inbox. The unbalanced chair diagramming is a bit childish, and doesn't really emphasize the importance of roles. To be honest, the categorization seems unnecessary.

Hi there,

Thank you for  the information.  If we may just ask, have you  tried checking the  spam  folder, just in case it  was  routed there  by mistake?

Hi I am the founder of WEEK PLAN.

1. You are one of the first few to complain about our _FREE_ email course. This course has been live for years now. Most of the feedback is positive.

2. If the emails don't suit you, you can unsubscribe easily by clicking "Unsubscribe" at the bottom of all these emails.

3. I am curious to hear how you would emphasize the importance of roles? I'd love to improve the content of the emails.

Thanks for responding, Aymeric.

First, I don't really appreciate the condescending tone. Yes, I can unsubscribe if I want. No, I haven't before now because most of your emails are vanishing into my spam folder. If you think my criticism is unfair, there is definitely a better way to address it than jumping into the conversation, asserting authority and making the implication that 1) I am illiterate and 2) I am wrong. Not cool, dude.

Tod Maffin has a great approach to situations like this that I use in my job in Marketing Communications. It's called the SWARM method http://todmaffin.com/swarm and the emphasis is on positive reinforcement of the customer/brand relationship. 

The fact that you qualify the feedback to your email course as mostly positive tells me that it isn't all roses. I imagine you get a lot of heat, some of it unfair, from people who just want to spread some vitriol. 

All of this is just preamble; If you'd asked for some clarification and comment on my stance from the get-go, I'd have given it to you. Moreover, I'm not the only one in my department who uses Week Plan, and your monetization strategy is pretty clear: give 'em a taste, make 'em want more, but they gotta pay. Well, I don't think this is the taste you want people to have, is it?

First, the roles and Goals section is just as rename-able as your parking lot, and any other section. It has the same functionality, the same use experiences, etc; it's arbitrary. Your email makes the unfair assumption that I wouldn't be able to make the distinction that being a father is as equal or more important than my being a friend, or a career-oriented worker, or a self-interested agent seeking happiness in my own life. It's an aggressive positioning that I find a bit of a turn-off. 

The graphic you used feels very MSpaint; the style is inconsistent from element to element; some are outlined, some are not, and I think your mix of primary and tertiary colours is too pastel, a bit childish. The image feels cheap, and I don't think that's what you want to present to people you want to pay you. 

Roles are far more important for me at work, where I actually have to wear different hats: copywriting, email campaign curation, brainstorming, internal communicator, and so on. I can create tasks in my week plan and drag them around. Cool. Additive actions are really straightforward and easy. but if I want to remove something from my grid and not have it associated to a role or goal anymore, its a lot less intuitive than being able to drag, drop, and add. To this end, roles start to complicate my planner rather than simplify it. Something that doesn't make my life easier isn't helpful. 

Once something feels like a hindrance to you, and someone asks you what you think, do you tell them it's helpful?

The main thing you should take away from this is that presentation is important: your emails don't present themselves well, so they have the wrong effect. You don't present yourself well in discourse, you have the wrong effect. You see what I mean?

Graphics quality

"The graphic you used feels very MSpaint"

Totally agree. I should probably get someone to redo them, especially if they distract from the message. Thanks for the feedback.

The tone

"First, I don't really appreciate the condescending tone"

Let me address this. Your first message contained things like 

"the ones that did were extremely unhelpful" 

"It's a week planner, not a dialysis machine. " 

"Review your email practices."

If you have a feedback to give, you don't have to use this tone. If you expected a better tone in my reply, you should not be aggressive from the get go.

Yes I should probably have been a bit nicer, but that's why I have people helping with customer support, because I don't have the level of tolerance. I am ok to lose the business of users who are just not nice..

User interface

"First, the roles and Goals section is just as rename-able as your parking lot, and any other section. It has the same functionality, the same use experiences, etc; it's arbitrary."

It is not arbitrary, it is actually done by design so that the user experience is consistent and users don't have to relearn how to do similar actions across different concepts (roles / lists / days).

"Additive actions are really straightforward and easy. but if I want to remove something from my grid and not have it associated to a role or goal anymore, its a lot less intuitive than being able to drag, drop, and add. "

In order to declutter the user interface, we have to pick which features are the most useful, used the most frequently, and make them easily accessible. Less frequent operations (like removing a role from a task, how often does someone need to do this?) take a bit more time to access by design.

Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. 

You're right; my initial comments were a bit rude. I'm sorry. But as a complainant, I don't have the responsibility of representing your company, you do. Your CSR was doing a fine job, even tone and straightforward questions, not really engaging my attitude. That's a good way to defuse a potentially unhappy individual. Hi fives for them. You didn't really have a reason to get involved in the conversation at all, and I'm still not sure why you did. The only reason that makes sense to me is that you felt slighted personally and took my criticism as an attack on your service and, by proxy, you. This wasn't the case. I saw a problem and I told you about it. If anything, I want you to succeed. Nothing would make me happier than helping you improve something you're proud of!

Also, you wouldn't be losing the business of someone with a bad attitude, you would be failing to gain it. And there's no reason why that has to be the case, either. Often, a bad attitude isn't a lifelong condition of an individual. We all have bad days, bad moments, and I don't think we should be judged solely by those moments. I'm sure not assuming that you are, by nature, this aggressively respondent to one-off criticisms, and I don't think you would want to be. So again, I'm sorry if my comments came off as unfairly antagonistic. It wasn't my intent. 

My criticism of your email practice stands: if they're sliding into my spam folder without me sending them there, then you have a problem that needs to be revised. Either the body of the email is reading as spammy, or a lot of other people have flagged your email as spam in the past and the service we use to flag spam has learned from that. My comment that I almost flagged it as spam would tend to support this, as well. Keep in mind, I didn't flag it as spam, and I don't really want to.

My criticism of the content of your email stands: the one that made it into my inbox wasn't helpful. maybe not extremely unhelpful, but certainly just fluff. The difference isn't semantic, it's practical. Telling me what some roles are without really showing me a practical, mechanical application of those roles in your system is just telling me that sometimes people label themselves as different things. If you stand by the practical functionality of Roles in your system, then show off how they work in the email! Celebrate it! These emails should be giving your users a knowledge of the tools, empowering them to use it to it's fullest. becoming familiar with a tool, fluent in the language of its application, will make someone want to pay for it. Your emails are this opportunity to empower the recipient and slyly encourage them to pay you to keep using it.