Joseph Ratliff Writer, Researcher, Thinker

2 Things I Wish “Marketers” Wouldn’t Do With Email Marketing…

I don’t know if people are desperate for sales or not, but “used car sales tactics” don’t work much any more…

I’ve seen a flood of two different kinds of emails coming into my “spy on the market” email inbox.

1)  The “oops, I guess the link was broken…” in the subject line.

2)  And the Columbo Technique…“Oh, I just wanted to make sure…” or “Oh, just one more thing…” in the subject line.

3)  BONUS UPDATE 02/05/2010:  The newest trend seems to be using email to promote “free” videos that have no controls to pause, stop, etc…forcing you to watch the video all the way through to the end.  These vids don’t give away the “reason” for the video until the end…and 98% of them are a complete waste of time.

Come on people. Are you really that desperate for sales?

If you’re doing this, I suppose you could argue that asking a “2nd time” might produce an increased response…but is it the increased response you want?

People aren’t stupid…so why would you insult their intelligence?  Do you REALLY think that they fall for the “oops, the link was broken” emails more than a time or two?

If I wasn’t “spying” on the market using the email address I use, I would click “unsubscribe” on every one of those…because if you’re having that much trouble keeping your links working, how reliable is your customer service?

As for the Columbo technique (a show back in the 70’s and 80’s if you don’t know who “Columbo” is)…

The “Oh, I forgot, one more thing…” technique only works a couple times as well…then people either tune it out or unsubscribe.

You can’t possibly expect to “cry wolf” repeatedly and get people’s attention, sorry.

Now, you more savvy email marketers might argue “Joe, well, yeah it does work…I get more responses out of one promotion by doing this!”

or even worse… “I get new leads in my system all the time, so go ahead and unsubscribe!”.

Guess what folks, with transparency and social media being hot topics right now, time is running out on those mindsets…whether you choose to believe me or not.

Besides, would you rather extract pennies from a coin jar by using stupid email response “tactics”?  Or would you rather develop a social relationship with your prospect base and actually have them paying attention to your emails (getting many dollar bills in the process)?

And about the newly updated video thing…come on folks, are you serious?  Are you lacking confidence in your sales ability to the point where you have to FORCE the viewer to watch your video all the way to the end?

It might work for short-term results now, but the people you market to deserve better than to be “forced” to watch a sales pitch right (even if it isn’t a pitch most of the way through)?

Give them the controls people, if your content delivers like it says it will, they’ll watch, if it doesn’t they won’t.  How qualified do you think a prospective customer would be if they were “roped” into whatever you were selling?  I would think about the potential for increased refund activity and complaints as well.

But that’s just me. 😉

Stop shooting your business in the foot if you’re doing this with your email marketing.  Whether it’s today, a week from now, or even 5 years from now…your on borrowed time if you think trickery will continue to bring home the bacon.

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