Yup…got one of “those” emails in my inbox.
Instead of, “Hey Cindy!” or “Hi Girlfriend!” or even “Dear Subscriber”, the marketing message might just as easily have said, “Hey You! If you are inhaling and exhaling, I have something for you…and oh, promote it for me to your friends, too!” Ok, ok…I am being harsh because I’m in a database due to an encounter I had at a meeting. I think.
What’s that saying? “If you can’t be a good example, at least be a good warning.”
After raising three people to adulthood and being an outside salesperson for years, there are fewer and fewer things that cross my path that warrant an “Are you kidding me?!” response. I feel it’s my obligation to use that particular email as a “what not to do” example in order to save those who endeavor to promote their businesses from this kind of blunder.
Here’s the stripped down version of what I opened in my email inbox (not my spam folder):
“Hello. We had the pleasure of exchanging business cards at a networking event and I am following up to invite you to [attend my seminar] so you can [learn this concept].
Who else do you know who would like to [learn this concept]? Please help me spread the word and share this email with them.
I kept the writer’s exact wording, making only changes between the “[ ]” to illustrate my point. The original content doesn’t matter.
Almost immediately, I was taken aback enough by the author’s untimely presumed close. Only because I decided to write this warning, I further investigated the rest of the page and clicked on the consultant’s website. In theory, what a simple tactic for conversion! – have the reader scroll down and even click to another site, right?
In all fairness, the email went on to nicely describe the event in the lower part of the note, which I never would have read given the opening attempt at engagement. Now on a mission, I clicked onto the website link to see the person who was hosting this seminar promotion, seeking a clue to how or where our theoretical connection may have happened. I was finding myself eager to forgive this upside-down approach if there was some connection. “Work with me here, people! Throw me a bone! I’m working at how I know this seminar provider!” No recognition of the face on the website, either. Bummer.
Granted, I am the first to admit I don’t have the steel-trap mind that my writing partner, WQ Kathleen, does for remembering names and faces, yet….really?! The recipient of a marketing promotion should not have to work this hard!
Summary: Both the promoter and the prospect lost in this case. Like many of you who get “pitched” on all kinds of ideas and solutions in a day, I am not the only one that has to work on not having the attention span of a paramecium, when it comes to discerning where to allot my time. Some rendition of, “Hey! You with the face! You’re in my data base. Read this!” is more likely to have the “delete” key be the next button of choice.
New prospects that don’t already at least know of you do not give a rip to be exposed to your wonderful solutions or ideas, unless they feel valued, significant, heard or even recognized. Your product or service might be the perfect answer to their prayers or calm for their nightmares, yet your reach will only be as long as your ability to make them feel what they seek to feel: important. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Caring matters.
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