Celebrity Cruises: My Ship Comes in Again… and Again… and Again…

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had planned to cruise on Celebrity Cruise Lines. At some point, when booking excursions, I must have opted in for marketing communications. I know this because, in addition to communications regarding the cruise, I received emails with limited-time deals for upcoming cruises. Many, many emails. In the month after the last day of my cruise, I received 37 emails from Celebrity. (That was yesterday.  As I post this blog, the count it now 39.)  That’s more than an email per day with a marketing offer to make the major travel purchase of a cruise.

In digging through these emails, however, I did receive two that addressed my recent cruise. One was a polite thanks for our sailing. It arrived five days after we disembarked. That’s timely. 

The next relevant email arrived two days later with the subject line of, “Marc, Thank you for sailing with us.” As a quick proofreading note: I would not have capitalized “Thank you” when preceded by a comma, but at least the messaging was relevant to my experience – with a timely call to action to book another cruise. Disney is effective using similar techniques when reaching out to their customers after a trip to The Magic Kingdom.

What Disney may not do is spam the crap out of their customers. I have too many emails to display here, with subject lines like, “Last Day – Do NOT miss these low fares to Alaska.” (March 26); “Now ending: Savings for all, plus TWO free perks” (April 2); “Exciting Deals is coming to an end. Last day tomorrow.” (April 8) “Just arrived! Just arrived! New offer to Alaska gets 50% off.” (April 9). I received two emails on the same day: “Marc, it’s Funday Sunday, perfect for booking an Exciting Deals getaway.” (April 22, 10:15 am) and “Traveler, it’s Funday Sunday, perfect for booking an Exciting Deals getaway. (April 22, 10:27 am).

It appears to me that Celebrity’s Marketing Department uses the criteria to send promotional emails only on days ending in “y” – and that’s a Fail for Timing for sending too many emails too often. They become meaningless in the continued clutter of communications. It may also be that there are several marketing lists floating inside the Celebrity organization and they don’t relate them to the customer experience. If that is the case, and they are using a Spray and Pray method of marketing, that’s a Fail for List.

Know your customers. Communicate to them sparingly and with relevance – addressing them in the context of your customer relationship.

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