Big Corporations and their Aggressive Advertising Emails

In today’s digital world, big corporations and businesses are using the internet to send targeted advertising emails to their customers or potential customers. These companies generally draw people in using their rewards programs. They will ask you to sign up for their loyalty program. By signing up, you are indirectly disclosing valuable information such as your address, date of birth, gender, etc. This wealth of data that they have about you as well as the shopping fingerprint that you leave on the company’s database each time you shop provides the company with a wealth of information that they can use for sending you advertising emails.

Advertising by email has several advantages:

  1. Companies can send targeted emails to customers for specific products based on the individual’s shopping history which is very effective compared to sending out random emails.
  2. Also, most customers can access their emails using their cellphones, and since people are always with their cell phones, this means there is almost 100% chance that the email is seen and received.
  3. Also advertising via email is instantaneous, unlike paper mail ads that have to be delivered by the postal system and usually takes from a couple of days to a week for delivery to be made.

This week of thanksgiving , black Friday, and cyber Monday is the time of the year when American’s are in the shopping mode. Big corporations increase their advertising efforts during this time of the year in order to take advantage of the frenzy.

I have been receiving lots of advertising emails this week from several corporations such as Cox Communications, T-mobile, Best Buy, Walmart, Walgreens, Nebraska Furniture Mart, etc. The frequency at which these commercial emails kept filling my inbox has been almost unbearable. It feels like a kind of harassment. Out of curiosity, I opened up my inbox and was browsing through some of these advertising emails. I decided to do a quick quantitative analysis.

I focused on 3 big corporations that have been filling up by inbox, namely, Best Buy Electronics (BBY), Walgreens Pharmaceutical (WGN), and Walmart Retail (WMT). Quantity of emails from these 3 corporations was extracted from my inbox starting from July 1st, 2018 to November 23rd, 2018 (black Friday). A simple code was written in R to produce barplots in order to quantify and visualize the number and distribution of emails that was received from these corporations over a 5-month period. The data set and R code is found here: https://github.com/bot13956/barplot_marketing_emails

Here is the output from the calculations:

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Quantity of personal marketing emails from Best Buy (BBY), Walgreens (WGN), and Walmart (WMT) for the period covering July 1st to November 23rd (black Friday) 2018.

In summary, I received close to 500 advertising emails from these 3 corporations just within 5 months. In today’s digital world, big corporations are waging a war with their customers with one goal in mind, namely, to extract everything from you, even to the last penny.

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