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Friday, March 13, 2009

7 deadly sins by email marketeers

Now that I have joined twitter, I'm discovering a whole new world of incredible resources, inspiring people and endless websites to visit. The downside of twitter, however, is the rampant hard-sell approach taken by a few users who don't take the time to know me before pushing their products on to me. The first step in any relationship is to introduce yourself, engage in conversation and find common areas of interest. Same goes for relationship marketing. In short, get to know me before forcing yourself upon me!

In response to the Pushers, here are The 7 Deadly Sins of Email Marketing (by PUPPET MASTER). 

(Note: To this list I'd like to add: Act Unethically. Ignore the privacy laws set out by the Australian government designed to protect individuals from spam. What this sin looks like: a) No explanation of where you got my email address from; b) No opt-in or opt-out option in your blanket email.)

1. Oversell.

This could be described in its simplest form as an excessive belief in your own abilities or in the abilities of your product, that interferes with the your realisation that your marketing message is not targeted at you or your product –it’s about the prospect.

What this sin looks like: Selling, and selling hard. Pushing your product, and praising it to high heaven. Forgetting to talk to (and about) your prospect in a way that addresses their needs and what they care about.

2. Safety First.

Dare to stand out and be different! 

What this sin looks like: Bland, standard, blah, meh type of emails. No variation in style, nothing exciting, no changes of development, it’s stagnant. And don’t paste your sales letter and try to make it pass for an email - it’s not!

3. Try really REALLY hard.

The email sounds too smooth, too glossy and too perfect - in other words, you don’t sound like a real, honest, down-to-earth, trustworthy person that your prospect can relate to and trust.

What this sin looks like: You don’t write like your Grandma. This is leading on from what I mentioned — email is intimate, it’s personal, it relates. Yes, good sales letters are meant to do that, but you can’t disguise a sales letter when you paste it in.

4. Be Spammy.

Even if you’re doing everything else right, this one sin can (and will, ultimately), kill your email marketing.

What this sin looks like: Your email doesn’t even get to your prospect’s inbox to be marked as spam because it gets caught by the spam filters. This involves using the wrong language, not testing your email with a spam filter prior to clicking ’send’, etc. (A very good one is E-filtrate, for example.)

5. Swipe like a dummy.

We all know that it is possible to swipe your way to the top. Swiping is a way of transferring others’ genius traits, status, abilities, and especially way of writing emails to become your own.

What this sin looks like: Copying others’ emails, word for word, without matching the tone, style, manner and phraseology to what your own list best responds to. This can be a tough one, especially when you’re not sure what to test, which leads us to the next sin…

6. Never Test.

Sloth is the avoidance of work. When it comes to email, many people aren’t slothful by choice. Often, it’s because they don’t know:

a. That they’re supposed to test,

b. They don’t know what to test,

c. They don’t know how to test, and

d. They don’t know how to interpret the results. eg. What’s a ‘good open rate’? Does it vary from niche to niche? How do you maximise a good response to certain emails?

What this sin looks like: Ultimately sticking to sending out emails at a certain time, never testing when you get the best open rates and clickthrough rates, not testing what kind of emails get the best response from your list,

7. Be Unlikable.

Unlikeability is manifested in the marketer who spurns love and likeability, and opts instead for disconnect and facelessness.

What this sin looks like: No persona, no personality, no distinguishing features, no riveting subject lines… and your email gets lost in the clutter of the inbox.

Bonus Sin…

8. Take Everything As Gospel Truth.

What this sin looks like: You listen to what every Tom, Harry and John Marketer has said. You test and try different things, sometimes not sticking to one thing long enough to see results; other times sticking to something for way too long without seeing results.

For example, I know one top marketer who teaches ‘newbies’ to do this to save costs when they’re starting out, but I reckon there’s a reason why he hired the top email autoresponder guy to write his emails. So, be careful whose ‘good advice’ you’re listening to.

1 comment:

Lynn from said...

Very good points. And there is what sounds like a similar law in the US regarding spammy emails. I imagine the Twitter spammers would say they're DMing and not emailng!

I can tell you do good work. Fun getting acquainted via Twitter!