If the plan was to get you to undelete an email from your “junk” folder, the marketing staff at Thomson Reuters’ ProLaw found the perfect one–two email combination to get you to do just that. Here’s what some of us received in our email boxes this morning:

First email subject line:

For a Limited Time, Get an iPod shuffle by Viewing a ProLaw Demo

Second email subject line:

Apologies from ProLaw, a Thomson Reuters Business

Seeing the second email not only made me want to go back and read the original email, it also got me emailing my friends to see if they had seen this ‘goof’ from ProLaw. Some had, some hadn’t, but guess what we’re all talking about this morning??

Now, obviously, this was just one of those SNAFU’s that happen in marketing campaigns from time to time, and it wasn’t ProLaw’s intent to send out the first email to such a wide audience only to have to send out an apology email retracting the offer. However, the fact that it wasn’t intentional doesn’t keep us from poking fun at the mistake, or pointing out that there were some unintended consequences resulting from this error that caused many of us to actually go back and read the first email.

So, for anyone that is marketing a product, and you know people are probably ignoring your emails, perhaps ‘accidentally‘ offering a free iPod in one email and then retracting the offer in a second might be a way to get some eyes back on your product. I’m not saying that it is a ‘good’ way to do it… but it does seem to be effective!!

Side note 1: Everyone I talked to about this was a little disappointed that ProLaw was apparently offering us the old iPod shuffle instead of the snazzy new version. As one geek told me “that is so three months ago!”

Side note 2: Now that I’ve re-read the emails (posted below), I’m wondering if this was more than just marketing using the wrong email list… it seems they have upgraded the SNAFU to a privacy issue rather than just a “we used the wrong mailing list” issue. hmmm…

Second email:

Earlier today, we mistakenly sent you an email that was not intended for you. We sincerely apologize for this error and any confusion or concern that we may have caused you. We take your privacy seriously, and we are putting in new methods to prevent this error from happening in the future.

Thank you for your understanding.

The ProLaw Team, a Thomson Reuters Business

Thomson Reuters.  thomsonreuters.com

Original email:

Every firm looks to work more productively. And it can with ProLaw®, the only integrated software solution built from the ground up in a single database to automate the practice and manage the business of law. ProLaw puts all key functions in one place for everyone in the office. If you see a demo by 12/1/10, we’ll send you a FREE iPod shuffle®.
What makes ProLaw unique? Integration with Microsoft® Outlook®, Excel®, Word and Westlaw®, so you can coordinate cases and contacts, documents, email and calendar, docketing, records, accounting, time and billing, collections, and reporting.
View a demo and get a FREE iPod SHuffleOne of our specialists will call you soon to discuss how ProLaw can benefit your firm. Have the specialist schedule an online demo for you, and if you see it by 12/1/10, then we’ll send you a FREE iPod shuffle.
Discover how ProLaw’s “Front Office. Back Office. One Office.®” solution can boost productivity across your firm – and improve your bottom line.
While supplies last. Limit one per firm. Actual prize may differ from product shown. Prizes will ship 4-6 weeks after live online demo. Offer expires 12/1/10. In accordance with regulations, government employees are not eligible for this special offer.

Thomson Reuters.  thomsonreuters.com