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It Looks Like…

This is the phrase Google uses to warm up the beginning three emails to me about something a little less faux personable: a vestigial email account of a doomed startup being “targeted for deletion.”

There is no one “looking”, this is an automated email. If they had looked, the appearance would not merely resemble someone that hadn’t logged in. The algorithm that generated this email “knows”, with a certitude that borders on the absolute, I have not accessed the failed startup gmail account in question in the last sixty days.

Product marketers in tech have made large strides away from adopting by default language that sounded like it came from commented code. Though as the rest of the targeted for deletion email shows, it’s hard to expunge this instinct entirely. There are a series of If-then statements about choices I can make.

The faux looking is made all the more absurd since the language is used in each of the three notices I’ve gotten on the matter.

Does the daft personality make us trust Google more or less? I think less. There were alternate routes to achieve this end. Something like:

“Hey, do you want to keep the account x you haven’t used since [Month/Year]? If so, please log in again soon. Deleting unused accounts helps keep our costs down for other users.”

The “soon” would work better than the deadline. A deadline is avoidable, soon is something I’m more likely to take action on anyway, if that was the goal. This is something brands like Southwest Airlines manage to do with ease, and tech could use more of those marketers.

I also suspect they don’t ever really delete this data (unless this is some new regulatory thing.) That’s what these emails really look like to me.

Published inBusinessMarketing

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