Sunday 6 April 2014

Email marketing works ... somewhat

Today, I got an email from "". Now you know me, I don't do drugs, apart from coffee (which is usually decaf) and the occasional pint of beer. But it also said in the subject line "compression socks sale". And I do do compression socks.

It goes back to the DVT I had nearly 20 years ago. With a DVT, your blood clots. It's supposed to clot if you cut yourself, there's a couple of mechanisms, one to start the clotting and one to progress it. But It's not supposed to happen inside the vein.

I got my blood tested. I have  Factor V Leiden thrombophilia which is a genetic thing that means that my blood is better at clotting. That's probably fairly good news when you're young, active and likely to get cut or grazed. It's not so good when you're over 40, and spend most of your time staring at a screen.

The effect was that I just couldn't bend my left knee. Very odd. I was quickly diagnosed with DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis, meaning a blood clot in the leg) and whisked off to hospital, because the condition could just get nasty, if bits break off the clot and get wedged in your heart or brain. They injected me with a blood thinner, that worked, I got out of hospital the next day, saw a doctor, and now (because of the Leiden factor V) I'm permanently on blood thinner (warfarin, also used as a rat poison). It's not a big deal, I take a couple of small pills each day, and go to the hospital every few months where they prick my thumb, put the blood in a machine that measures the viscosity, and tell me to stay on the same dose and come back in three months for another test.

But the DVT caused a permanent problem in my leg. Running down the main veins, are non-return valves. That's so that the pressure at the ankle isn't a column of blood six feet high. The DVT messed up those valves, so now they don't do anything. This means that down at my ankle, the veins are under more pressure than they should be. That doesn't cause an obvious problem, but a vein doctor explained that in the long run, it could cause a problem, giving me an ulcer on my ankle. And the solution to that is prevention. Prevention means compression socks.

He recommended a baloney sock, at least that what I thought he said. What he actually said was "below knee sock". And the nurse there fitted me for one, and showed me how to put it on; it's a bit like putting on a sock, but it's a bit tighter than a sock would be. So, for nearly 20 years now, I've been wearing a baloney compression sock, and so far, that's not been a problem.

Of course, they wear out, and occasionally I have to buy new ones. So a few weeks ago, I bought, on Ebay, a pair of Sigvarnis baloney socks. I only need one, but they sell them in pairs; fortunately, they don't have parity, so I can wear either of them on my left leg.

And today, I got an email. "Compression socks sale."

I've been planning to buy more. I bought one pair to see if the American Sigvarnis ones were OK for size and fit (they are) and comfort (it is), and I was planning to buy more imminently. Offering me a 15% additional discount brought forward my purchase from some time next week, to today. So they're happy (they'll never know I'd have happily paid 15% more), and I'm happy (15% discount, free p&p).

And then I thought, ladysolly has also been converted to compression; tights in her case. So we looked at what she was about to buy (Sigvarnis, £90 per pair, a UK web site) and I showed her the same thing (Sigvarnis, £34 per pair, after discount, US web site), and so drugsupplystore have made a sale that they wouldn't otherwise have made.

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