Dropbox is a service that I both use extensively, and admire.
- It synchronizes all of my data across all of the devices that I use – seamlessly, effortlessly, with no errors.
- It makes my documents totally mobile. I can’t count the number of times I’ve reached for my iPad to grab a contract or a document from the cloud, when in the past I would have had to return to my desk.
- It lets me create on the fly “shares” in the cloud so that I can give other people access to documents.
- Best of all, it works across Microsoft and Apple products, both of which I use.
In short, I think it’s pretty close to being the perfect synchronizing and sharing solution. As a result, I often find myself recommending Dropbox to friends.
Dropbox tickled my inbox with an offer this afternoon. For each of my friends that I invite to Dropbox, and who accept, they offered me an extra 500M of storage. Why not get extra space for doing something I already do?
And that’s where I made my mistake. I loaded my Google address book into their handy program, and pressed the button, expecting to be able to write something like what I just wrote above. I expected to be able to explain to everyone I was mailing exactly why I thought so much of Dropbox. I wanted to tell them about my personal experience. I was hoping to encourage them to use the product because it’s that good. And I wanted to let them know that they could get extra storage by simply telling their friends.
For Dropbox, I would have been the perfect evangelist customer.
I didn’t get the chance. Dropbox’s mailer simply spammed my contacts with the one liner “Alec Saunders wants you to use Dropbox to sync and share files online and across computers.” I felt like an idiot. People asked why I was spamming their inbox. Dropbox lost a golden opportunity.
The Golden Rule of Referral Marketing? Let me explain why I am referring this company to you. Otherwise you’re simply asking for permission to spam my contacts, and that’s not something I really want to do.
And by the way, despite this experience, I still think Dropbox rocks.