Email marketing can be powerful and effective. It can bring prospects closer and nurture leads. It can also be a deadly way to lose contacts and potential connections.
Today I unsubscribed from an unsolicited email announcing a web-based radio show that for some reason I need to know about. The announcement came from a person that I exchanged cards with at a networking function. The announcement was all about him, and his new wonderful radio show – with no logical reason that I would want to listen to it. In fact, it featured a big picture of him, right in the middle, and some jargon about when the show will be recorded.
In addition, the email had a description that read something like “this is where you should describe your offer”. Seriously. Not even changed.
In today’s digital marketing environment, that’s just not good enough. If you expect to be accepted as a professional business person, you need to realize that the name of the game in digital marketing is personalization. It you are doing business the old way and sending out a blanket one-size-fits-all email to everyone, you are appealing to no one.
This must be my day for unsubscribing because I also unsubscribed from a LinkedIn contact who sent a blanket email to everyone she is connected with on Linkedin. That’s not the way connect, nor are LinkedIn contacts supposed to be used for overt solicitation. Frankly, this tells me a couple of things; one is that the person just does not understand why we connected, and two that I am not important to the person who sent these.
If you treat your connections indiscriminately, you deserve to have them disconnect from you. The first step is to opt out of your email blast. Too many opt outs, and you will begin to see that the mail services are not going to like handling your outbound email campaigns. In fact, you may wind up being booted.
Ever try to put together a program to increase your subscribers? It’s not that easy. So, when you have a connection or you have a subscriber, treat them like gold.
Here’s a few rules to review before you send that next blast:
- Does the recipient want to receive the information? If you met at a networking event and exchanging cards is the sole basis for sending th email, you haven’t earned the right to include that email on your sending list. Before including them, send a special PERSONALIZED email that reminds the person of how you met and explains the type of email you will be sending and ASKS if the person would like to recieve these types of emails. Better yet, give them a choice of topics and let them pick the topics that would be best for their needs. This means that your emails will be much more targed and less likely to be reported as SPAM. (This is called “opting in”).
- Is the email targeted content, or is it a broad announcement all about you? By targeted, what I mean is that the information contained is applicable to the industry, to the role, or in some way could be construed to be focused on the need of the person who is receiving it. Just to send out a blast all about you is really as dull as dating someone who only wants to talk about himself. Really dull. Don’t expect a second date and don’t expect that the recipient is actually going to read your pablum!
- Have you completely filled in the template and tested it? Twice! The worst thing is to have an email blast go to your most treasured list of prospects and have it undermine your professionalism because it has a section that’s “greeked in”. Wow. I see this sometimes on website as well, where its funny text that is supposed to be replaced. Why should I spend my time reading it if you didn’t spend the time to put it together correctly. Send it to yourself. Send it to someone else. Make sure it’s correct.