This website maintains a weekly events newsletter, which is rather bland and functional partly as I don’t have the time to make it pretty and partly as I think it works better being functional than pretty.

However, I do have a background in doing pretty sales and marketing emails in my past jobs, so when I get such emails, I do tend to look at them as a customer, but also still with a lingering remnant of my old marketing eye.

Today I received an email from Amazon introducing a new partnership with a retailer selling shoes (ianvisits passim) and what should have been a perfect opportunity for Amazon to use its database about who I am and what I like to target the email has flopped – badly.

The email starts with my name – and my title (Mr) , so they know I am a bloke. The images accompanying the email however are all for ladies shoes.

As no sane bloke looking for a quiet life would ever dare attempt to buy shoes for their female partner – I can only presume that Amazon is convinced that I am a transvestite.

I am now checking my book buying history to work out how they came to that conclusion.

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  1. Mark

    Reminds me of ‘Couch Potato’ by Weird Al: “I only watched “Will And Grace” one time one day. Wish I hadn’t ’cause TiVo now thinks I’m gay.”

  2. Alan

    They don’t only depend on your buying history. Your history browsing their site is enough. I’ve been receiving some rather weird book recommendations recently, and from a cursory look I’d never dream of buying any of their suggestions. I haven’t actually bought anything for several months, but I’ll sometimes waste the odd ten minutes on the site more or less clicking at random. I have obviously screwed up their recommendations algorithm something rotten.

  3. Oh yes, and never buy gifts unless you have time to pick through the recommendations page deleting them – I still get copious suggestions based on a couple of books I once bought just before christmas for somebody else.

  4. TRT

    Ah, but I bet they come in men’s sizes. It’s not called ‘Amazon’ for nothing!

  5. James

    Maybe they think you have a girlfriend?

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