|Your ship has come in!|
I received this email from AAA promoting Cruise Month while watching the CNN helicopter circle the Carnival Triumph being towed to shore. This is a classic Fail for Timing. Consumers are far less likely to consider going on a cruise when there are scenes on every televised newscast of people sleeping on mattresses above deck and feces on ceilings.
Unlike direct mail, which has a significant lead time between when something is mailed and when something can be received, email is instantaneous. The marketing people at AAA could easily have had the email held for a few days -- or at least until Fox News moved on to a different topic.
Lesson: Do a final check before every direct marketing effort to ensure that your product and offer are appropriate. Do not send a marketing offer for a product category when there is a high volume bad press about it. #cruisefromhell