Unfortunate Automated Email from Sonesta Hotels | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 27, 2017

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Tone-deafness in promotional emails isn’t new. I was reminded recently that it isn’t just about making tone considerations when you’re composing new emails, but to be mindful of previously created or scheduled content that may suddenly become either very strange or just not appropriate for a certain time frame.

Case in point, I got this email from Sonesta on Friday, September 8th. This was not a day after we were bombarded with news and images regarding absolute devastation on the island of St. Maarten.

I absolutely understand the concept of scheduled email content, as I create it myself, but whoever is in charge of said content also needs to be aware of major events in the world, particularly those that are impacting your business. Scheduling content is great, but the price you pay is having content go out at inappropriate times. There are many unfortunate news events in the world that take place, where brands sending out happy emails about sales and whatnot just feels wrong to me as a consumer, so I have a process in which I check my plan for scheduled content as soon as I think something relevant has happened.

It’s a question of appropriateness and tone once again, and seems to be especially ridiculous when this message is from the company that owns a property in a place that has been destroyed. I have been to St Maarten and it was so beautiful. I hope that the islanders are able to recover and flourish once again, as quickly as is possible.

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