One-to-One marketing can be powerful or can destroy relationship with customers

Melissa Shore hardly bothers to open email from Delta Airlines’ preferred opt-in list anymore. It’s not because she’s not interested. She travels a lot in her work as a senior analyst with New York-based research firm Jupiter Communications, and she’s always looking for travel deals. “Every week, I’d get another email from Delta offering discounts on flights from Chicago or Atlanta,” she says, mystified. “I kept hoping to receive a message that read, ‘Melissa, we’ve got discounts on these trips leaving from New York,’ but I never have.”

Though Shore says she’s a very loyal customer to businesses that provide quality personalized service, Delta, she says, has missed the mark. “I’d rather not get anything from them than get something that’s not relevant,” Shore says. At least the promotional email registration on the airline’s Website now asks for the …