Porter Airlines email marketing trains customers to wait for a sale fare

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

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Porter saleLast month I travelled to Toronto to speak at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and flew via Porter Airlines from Boston.

The Porter Airlines flight and service was excellent. I particularly loved flying into Toronto City Airport, which is located on an island right downtown. The travel time from the airport to downtown is significantly less than from the main international airport located outside Toronto.

I'd definitely fly Porter Airlines again. But, next time I would only book a fare that was on sale.

After I booked, I signed up for their email offers. I expected to be educated about Porter and the destinations they fly. I was not.

Instead, on a regular basis, all they’ve been sending me are fare sales. I must have gotten a dozen offers in the several months I've been on their email list.

It sort of annoyed me that I paid more for my flight than I should have. I couldn't switch because the fare sale emails say: "New bookings only".

I get what they are doing. They want to fill seats and it is a lazy marketers drug to run sales on a regular basis. It sort of reminds me of how some companies use Groupon, which I wrote about in this post: The dark side of Groupon.

Offering frequent fare sales trains customers to wait for a better price on Porter Airlines. It also annoys customers like me who (stupidly) paid too much.

Porter Airlines can do email marketing better

I keep waiting to see emails from Porter Airlines talking about their other destinations. Why not tell me about Moncton? Maybe I'd like to go but I don't know anything about it. Or maybe Porter could provide ideas on why I should return to Toronto with my family. Or they could introduce their people "This is Captain Smith." But they don't do anything like this. It's all about the sale.

Your email marketing should be used to build a long-term relationship with your customers. You should educate and entertain them.

There's a lot more to email marketing than pimping a sale price.

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