Denny’s Daily Zinger: Note to Carbonite – Hire a Copywriter and Fire Pete Lamson

One of the Carbonate emails that scared the hell out of Denny.

The second Carbonate email that scared the hell out of Denny.

I have entrusted the contents of my entire computer to Carbonite on an ongoing basis.
For $59 a year, Carbonite acts as a backup service. If a Malaysian Air jetliner crashes into my house—and I’m somewhere else at the time—I sleep at night knowing my life’s work is in the Carbonite cloud.

I no longer sleep easy after two scary-as-hell emails from Carbonite:

1. Don’t let your 0 files go unprotected – Subscribe now
You currently have 0 files on your computer … backed up with Carbonite. Subscribe NOW

2. Our Error, Our Apologies

Dear Denny,

I am writing as a follow up to an email you may have received this morning suggesting you have no files backed up with Carbonite. This email was sent in error, resulting from a customer communications mistake. If you are an active subscriber, at no point was your account or stored data affected.

We apologize … blah, blah, blah.

Best Regards, 

Pete Lamson SVP, Sales & Marketing

Takeaways to Consider

  • The line: “If you are an active subscriber …”
  • What the hell do you mean, IF you are an active subscriber”???
  • Don’t you KNOW I’m an active subscriber???
  • Why is your text in unreadable light gray?
  • Fire your incompetent web designer.
  • Now I’m really scared of Carbonite. Just received a third email:
    SUBSCRIBE TODAY: Keep your 0 files protected
    Time is running out.
    Subscribe now to keep your files protected.
  • Carbonite cannot be trusted with data.
  • What to do?

Denny Hatch’s new book is “Write Everything Right!” Dan Poynter writes, “Today’s readers have lousy attention spans. Denny Hatch reveals the tested and proven attention-getting (and attention- holding) secrets of an elite, anonymous cadre of writers. They earn six and seven figures a year. Write Everything Right! is for all who put words on paper (or a digital screen) for others to readClick here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.
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Comments
  • Megan @ Carbonite

    Hi Denny – Again, I apologize for the messages that were sent out last week. They were the result of human error – a customer marketing mistake. I’d like to respond to your points:

    – “If you are an active subscriber…” – The email went out to people that are active Carbonite customers, meaning they have a paid plan with us and are currently backing up data, as well as some people who started a trial with us but never bought a paid subscription. We wanted to make sure that active customers knew that this email mistake was completely separate from their account and stored data – which was never impacted.
    – Re: the text color and design – Once we realized the mistake and stopped the emails, we wanted to get a correction/apology note out as soon as possible. I’ll mention to the team that the text was hard to read.
    – The 3rd email – There were two emails sent in error, and we stopped them as soon as we realized the issue. However, batch emails sometimes take a while to make it to the individual’s inbox. So while we had stopped the “zero files” emails and followed up with an apology/correction email, some people received one or both of the error emails after the apology, even though emails had ceased coming from us several hours before.
    – Trusting Carbonite with your data – We completely understand how stressful and jarring the email was to our customers who rely on us to protect their data. I just want to reiterate that this was just a case of human error when it came to sending out an email. Customer information and data is completely separate, and they were not impacted by this issue.

    I hope the transparency we’ve shown, along with our sincere apologies, will help to assure you that we are still a trusted partner in data protection. I’ve attached my email address to this comment, so please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

    -Megan @ Carbonite

  • GeorgeM

    Yes, and my version of this are the emails I get from automation marketing company Marketo. They purportedly offer intelligent email and sales automation tools, yet I get bombarded from multiple reps, none of whom seem to know the what the other is doing or why they contacted me, and none answer my original questions. I suggested they switch their marketing automation to a competitor.

  • bowser

    so you make a Malaysian Airlines joke/reference – wow! you should be the one fired!

  • mikewrite

    Unreadable light, grey text should be banned from internet usage. Only an idoit would use it, or someone who is afraid of having the text read.

  • Thomas (Tom) Smith, III

    Confusion = distrust. Distrust = lost customers.

    Use your CRM. Keep it clean and up to date. It’s the lifeblood of your business.

  • Larry

    Use Mozy instead.

  • GLR

    Gee, ya think there’s a “pro” version in the offing, for more than the lousy $59 you’re ponying up now? Get out now.

  • Will Belden

    Might I recommend CrashPlan? I dropped Carbonite and Mozy Home quite a while back because they didn’t allow network drives to be backed up. CrashPlan seems to be SO much better thus far.