Bad Aviation Marketing … Part 2

By Robert Mark on January 19th, 2007

Time for a quick follow up to yesterday’s post. Call this one “How to Make Customers Even More Angry the Second Time Around.”

I related some of my nightmarish e-mail marketing experiences with a company called Western Aviation and its well-organized spamming program. It took a few days of rants and raves from myself and dozens of others in the industry, but it seems pretty clear that Western grabs e-mails and fax numbers anyway they can and then refuses to let go.

Western’s president posted a message today that not only was not even remotely apolgetic about their irritating marketing campaigns, but went on to accuse e-mail recipients of being idiots because they didn’t seem to understand how to use Western’s easy opt-out procedure.

Everyone I know has tried unsuccessfully many times to be removed from Western’s lists.

This technique of beating up potential customers because they react violently to repeated invasions of their privacy smacks of a complete lack of understanding of Marketing 101’s Rule #3. When it’s clear you and your company have screwed up – in this case with a spamming program that people cannot opt out of – just admit it, then fix the darned thing. 

Finally, Rule 4 in Marketing 101, PR 101 and Life 101 … when you make the customer the enemy, you’re headed down a pretty dark road that has little to do with running a successful business.

In the aviation industry, the results of these kinds of campaigns are magnified simply because pilots and aviation people in general have even less patience than most regular folks, which admitedly is not much.

From posts elsewhere, Western Aviation clearly lost dozens of potential customers with their spamming and by avoiding the results of their misguided campaigns.

I wonder how many customers they gained for all their efforts.


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  3. Doctorate Online Says:

    I am so glad to have come across your articles. Our company is almost to the point of purchasing a used airplane and we were thinking of getting on Western Aviation’s list since we too are based in Houston. You have saved us a lot of email grief; we’ll avoid Western like the plague and look elsewhere. We are strong believers in rewarding good customer service so they won’t be getting our business.

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