…or, perhaps, it’s un fantasma en la máquina

I didn’t realize that I spoke Spanish. Those who are French probably don’t think I speak that very well, either. But Splendia begs to differ.

My inbox this dark, rainy morning contained 2 identical exhortations from Splendia to take a weekend getaway in one of their high-style high-touch hotels. Could be in Paris (shown) or anywhere, for that matter.

But why did I receive these in 2 different languages?

Tracking backwards, I am a bit of a travel junkie. I have plenty of apps dedicated to ameliorating the occasional flare-up of wanderlust that afflicts me from time to time. Splendia’s periodic email taunts do make their way here as well, but always in English. What has happened?

Email marketing is the offspring of time-honored, dead-tree direct marketing, with all the data mining and conversion optimization that attends it. The difference is, because emails cost fractions of pennies to send, the sender can afford to be wrong…twice, even. Short of me hitting “unsubscribe” there’s no harm in getting it wrong with email. Even if I did opt out I am not really removed, but rather placed on a 10-day probationary period until the system moves my contact information in a holding pen ready to be added back at a moment’s notice.

In the words of one group of well-traveled minstrels referring to a different hotel, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

At some point somewhere the new, revised list was prepared by some junior associate in the marketing department, and the wrong boxes were ticked, dropping my name into categories where they don’t belong. After all, no matter what language Spendia chooses to reach out to me I still rely almost exclusively on my favorite partner for sourcing hotels worldwide.

The thing is, since Splendia’s conversion rate with me most probably won’t change, they may never figure it out.

UPDATE: Either they did, or I can expect Chinese, then Italian, then Russian, then Hebrew, then…