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 says:

    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 says:

    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. Caroline says:

    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 says:

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

  5. James says:

    Maybe they think you have a girlfriend?

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