An open letter to Omaha Steaks and a lesson in marketing

Dear Omaha Steaks,

Please leave me alone. Since I purchased your mail-order steaks on a lark a few months ago you have been bombarding, no make that SUFFOCATING me with marketing messages.

I had an urge to try your product when I felt I was getting a promotional bargain. Since then, you have been sending me at least one usually three e-mails everyday.

When I didn’t respond that way, you had the gall and audacity to CALL ME?!? Others have said that you call them too. Almost as much as you e-mail me.

I’m starting to resent your company and your product. Your marketing plan has really moved me to action. Today, I will opt out of your e-mails and I probably won’t purchase another burger from you ever.

In the first week since I received your steaks packed in dry ice, you have sent 15 e-mails with additional purchase opportunities. I haven’t even tried your steak!

I don’t know what banshee you hired to do your marketing, but they are ruining your business. I see that others have tried to persuade you that this is marketing folly, but you obviously see a return or I think you would stop.

Do yourself a favor and look long and hard at your marketing strategy. I can’t believe that I’m the first or only one telling you this. Seriously, I’m considering becoming a vegetarian to reduce the stress your putting only red-meat heart.

Try standing out rather than just continual rapid fire of bargains that really aren’t bargains, just a shifting of your price point configuration.

Get out of my Face, Omaha Steaks!

Oh, I know things!

Perhaps you could slow down to once a week and make your e-mails about how to cook your steaks. A tasty recipe will make me want to use your product and if I like it, I will have to buy more.

It’s just a suggestion, but a cautionary tale for other marketers: Frequency works best in mass media. Personal e-mails are a personal space where frequency can actually backfire on the marketer. If you want to engage your customers from repeat business, respect their space.


Gus Pearcy

Gus Pearcy Communications

Call me, I can help you.




  1. a righteous reaction, Gus. I hope they take your message seriously and not as an indicator that you are indeed a live “subject” out here in cyberspace, thereby selling your info to other marketing geniuses.

  2. Well … truth be told, I was cleverly disguising my consulting acumen in the guise of a personal problem. I do honestly feel that the company has lost any credibility by this attempt to get me to buy more meat, but I also wanted to let people know that I’m able to avoid these types of mistakes and you should hire me to do your marketing.

    Thanks for helping me clear that up.

  3. Gus Pearcy,

    We apologize for the unwanted emails and phone calls you have received from Omaha Steaks. It is not our intention to overwhelm you with our marketing materials. We do respect your privacy and are able to change the frequency at which you receive emails and calls from our company. Please email me at with your email address and phone number. In your email, please indicate if you would like to be completely removed from our email and phone list or if you would like to change the frequency. I look forward to your response.

    Jamie Toledo
    Consumer Services Manager
    Omaha Steaks

  4. Even though it’s not through an e-mail, don’t you think suggestive selling things at *bux is exactly the same thing?? A two x a day customer must get tired of the “How bout trying a 5 pack of our Via Ice brewed coffee today for only $5.95?? Notice how when people give you their order and then say “THAT’S ALL”…is probably a good indicator they are tired of the pitches….Maybe I’m just too old and this works on the younger folks, but If I had wanted a 5 pack of Via Ice brewed coffee, I would have ordered it……

  5. I see your point. The major difference for me is your Starbucks, my e-mail. People coming to Starbucks voluntarily should expect to get a pitch. They may not like it of course. But the only reason I give out my e-mail is to be notified of a problem. I even expect (and like) getting an occasional pitch on a fantastic deal. Not a constant barrage of inane, intrusive e-mails that are in a very personal space.

  6. Just a follow up to this post: After the Consumer Services Manager of Omaha Steaks rooted me out through Radian 6 and sent me a nice note offering to delete my e-mail entirely from their mailing lists, I got this e-mail around 3 p.m. today.

    ONLY 10 HOURS LEFT to use your $15 Savings Code… get $0.00 Shipping too

    HELD OVER through the WEEKEND! This is your last chance to have your world-famous Omaha Steaks® SHIPPED FREE! Simply shop our online store, stock up on all your favorites or try something new & you’ll receive FREE Standard Shipping to every delivery address in your order. Hurry! FREE SHIPPING ends at midnight 8/8/10.


    Isn’t that hilarious?

  7. I put this whole business into the same catagory as some of the awful come-on lines I used to overhear on a weekend night out (directed from desparate men to attractive women). Lines I myself would have filtered out of any approach to a female – but I heard them often enough, I figured that they had to work some of the time – or else why would the poor schmucks be uttering them? – This I also see in this marketing approach – it has to work sometime…and like the poor schmucks, Omaha Steaks clings to those successes though they be rare.

  8. Pingback: Mail Order Steak

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