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.

    My Thoughts On List Building…

    There are 2 main schools of thought on building marketing lists in my opinion…

    1)  Traditional, two-step “Give me yours and I’ll give you mine” style.  Online, this usually involves a squeeze page where someone has to submit their email address to gain access to a valuable piece of content (if your content isn’t valuable, you lose all trust and credibility here).

    2)  A more viral, “I’ll give you a piece of valuable content that you can share and form an opinion on FIRST, and THEN you can decide if you buy from me.” Here, your content allows the visitor to decide if they want to take the next step with you, then you focus on your “buyer’s” list and serving it, instead of both an email list AND buyer’s list.

    Interesting to think about both methodologies.

    In my opinion, I will be personally shifting towards #2 thanks to the influence of David Meerman Scott , other influences I’ve tested, and my personal business direction.

    —>  If you go to http://josephratliff.com right now, you can begin to see it in action (although the viral ebook isn’t yet there yet, I’m offering a sample of this blog as a download currently).

    I feel (my personal opinion), that with the current way people are searching for information, and a sort of “numbness” to free in exchange for personal information marketing pieces…I would rather focus on building a list of buyers of my upcoming print book and products AFTER they’ve made a decision based on freely available content first.

    My theory is, (actually proven by other marketers like David), that this “buyers list” will be more responsive because they have enough of a sample of content to make a decision to trust me first.

    And that my friends, is where the gold is…in developing a solid relationship with people on your buyer’s list.