I’ve received several copies of a letter from Google UK recently, promoting their Adwords (pay per click) advertising product. Nothing wrong with that, as an online marketeer I use Google’s products, so it’s good targeting. Or is it?

Firstly, I already have more than one Google account where I manage reasonably sized Google Adwords accounts. Clearly Google are failing to make the link that some of their registered users already have that service in their Google accounts. Secondly, the letters, whilst addressed correctly and with the right name (!) have a job title that reads something like “SEO Manager / Online Manager / Internet Manager”. Come on Google, direct marketing 101, use the right information, or don’t include it at all!

Perhaps most annoyingly, the letters contain vouchers (typically £30 or £50) to use on an Adwords account, but it has to be one that has been opened in the past 14 days – so no use to my existing accounts.

So to summarise Google UK’s direct mail efforts:

  • Badly targetted – I already have the service being offered
  • Uses an incorrect / non-existent job title (not hugely annoying but not professional either)
  • Making a useless offer which potentially alienates existing customers – “hey new customer here’s something for free, but for you loyal customer spending many hundreds of £’s – nothing”
Compare this to Google’s slick, precise and targeted online presence and it really makes you think they should stick to the virtual world and avoid envelopes! Of course, this will presumably have happened all across the country to others involved in online marketing – much wasted paper and money!