I Love iTunes, So Why Doesn’t Their eNewsletter Love Me Back

itunes 4-2011 newsletterWhat Am I Marketing Chopped Liver?

If you are one of the millions of iTunes fans, you appreciate the brilliant work they do in aggregating music creatively.  But, they squander the opportunity to connect with me by focusing on what their database knows about the music I buy and that lives within my iTunes account.

Normally, I now just delete without reading, but this week’s eNewsletter was so off target I had to write about it.

iTunes Does It Right. But Their Marketing Does Me Wrong.

Not only does iTunes enable you to do infinite organizing of your music, the iTunes store takes it many steps further. The store includes pre-constructed sets of music from different eras, different artists or different styles in the iTunes store. With iTunes itself, I particularly love the ‘Genius Bar’ which enables you to create new playlists from your stored music or to discover new tunes that you’re likely to love based on a song that you have chosen from your own iTunes collection.

The iTunes folks excel at enabling you to choose,to organize, and to discover all sorts of music that you love.  Of course, you’ve probably bought quite a few more iTunes selections than you should have thanks to their terrifically targeted musical content. iTunes is brilliant at offering you what you didn’t even know you wanted.

That’s why I’m astonished at how far off the mark they are with their weekly eNewsletter that tosses me a hodgepodge of music that ignores my obvious preferences.

Their eNewsletter throws targeted content marketing right out the window.

The iTunes content machine should know exactly what I like because they have assessed what I have bought and what I have loaded on my computer.  My musical taste is eclectic and wide-ranging. It includes everything from Bach to Benny Goodman, from Asleep at the Wheel to Andre Watts,. and from Meatloaf to Mozart. Nonetheless, each week they send me a newsletter about music in which I have either no knowledge, no interest or both.

Here’s a sampling from this week’s iTunes eNewsletter featuring artists I hate or don’t want to know more about:

  • Foo Fighters (at least, I know them by name)
  • Nine Types of Light by TV on the Radio (or is there TV that’s on the radio?)
  • Who You are by Jesse J (who is she?)
  • Don’t Turn Out the Lights by NKOTBSB ( I guess the initials stand for something, but I don’t have time to spend figuring it out
  • Make Some Noise by the Beastie Boys (well, noise is what it sounds like to me)
  • Loverboy by Brett Dennen
  • Rihanna & Britanny Spears ( Please!)
  • So Beautiful or So What by Paul Simon (OK, this might be worth a listen)

Of course, you may love all this music.  Then, you would have appreciated the eNewsletter.  But, for me, the new music eNewsletter is a nuisance. With all their marketing money, they could have and should have done much better in segmenting the recipients of their weekly outreach to customers.

The #1 Content Marketing Rule That Apple Forgot: Understand What Is Most Important to Your Audience! And Then Deliver Just The Right Content Based on That Understanding

You may have a limited marketing budget that would amount to a rounding error for Apple.  Nonetheless, you can do a better job of targeting your eNewsletter by understanding what is most important to your customers and providing truly relevant information in each newsletter edition. 

You may not have the sophisticated technology tools that iTunes can bring to bear, but you can probably create two or three different iterations of your outbound content that matches the differing information needs of your customers.

The misguided iTunes eNewsletter makes me feel as unappreciated as the hero of the classic country lament by David Allen Coe, “You don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’.  You don’t even have to call me by my name.”

Come to think of it. They didn’t even call me by my name.

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  1. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I literally just posted this morning a blog about online store vs. brick & mortarhttp://www.zmags.com/blog/online-store-charisma The analytics data is the online advantage of online and when a site has users that sign-in to purchase something as personal as music, its stupid to not use this data. Afterall, as you mentioned, we know they have it so why arent they using it? Is it because Apple is Apple and we will use iTunes no matter what their newsletter looks like?

  2. Newt Barrett
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Christina, you may be right about Apple arrogance. But, think how much more stuff they could sell me if they focused on the stuff that I really love. And, there’s plenty of that.