When marketing automation goes bad

Friday I attempted to make a purchase online. I go through the selection and checkout process … up through the payment choices. When I pick pay by credit card I get an error message that says “credit card expiration date wrong.” All very strange because I’ve not put in a credit card number or expiration date.

I try and call, but it’s a holiday weekend and no one is around. Fine, I’ll make the purchase Tuesday (Easter monday is a national holiday here) when things are working again or I can call the store and order by phone.

This particular store has some abandoned cart automation. Which means that for the last 3 days I’ve gotten morning reminders that there is something left in my cart. Yes. I know. I’d really like to purchase said items. But I can’t, because your website is currently broken.

No one is really at fault here. I’m pretty sure even the most advanced marketing automation doesn’t have a “pause because payment system broken” button. The daily messages are annoying, but that may be because I went and edited the cart (more stuff!) on Sunday.

Maybe marketing automation does need a pause and an interrupt button. This situation is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. But sometimes big events that rock our world happen and marketing reminders seem so trivial and unimportant. In any case, set and forget is never the answer.


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