I received this email from Starbucks recently. It’s a standard “year in review” type email, of the kind sent out by numerous brands.

Looks fairly average, right? How do you think Starbucks wants me to feel when I read this email?

My guess is that they want me to be happy that they know my favorite drink, excited about the stars earned, and ready to order again.

But that’s not what jumped out at me when I read the email.

In a tough economic time when inflation is high and people are reexamining their spending habits, the first emotion I felt upon opening this email was guilt.

Guilt does NOT make people want to purchase more often.

See, Starbucks isn’t an essential purchase. It’s a fairly expensive treat, and when I saw how many times I’d visited last year, I immediately calculated how much money I’d spent.

The figure shocked me, and made me determined to visit less often this year.

Now, I doubt that’s what Starbucks had in mind when they sent this email, and that’s because they were concerned with getting me back into the store, and not as concerned with putting themselves in my shoes.

What could they have done differently?

I would have shown my favorite drink and my favorite menu option, and given me a coupon for each. Maybe point out the location I visited most often and offer me a free drink there.

I wouldn’t draw attention to the amount of money I spent, but would focus on the data points that make it clear Starbucks knows who I am and wants to reward me for my continued loyalty.

But that’s just me. What would you have done differently?