This week my inbox has received some shockingly bad examples of email marketing, so there was a danger that this blog post would just be an uncontrolled rant. And then I received a really great message which restored my faith in the use of email as an important marketing tool. So much so that I’m putting my positives first and saving the negatives for last.
What I Love to receive
If you’ve got a sale or a great deal on, then I want to hear about it. I might just be thinking about buying.
Doing something different or funny will make you stand out from the crowd and people will look forward to your emails. Like the ones from Rob Brooks featuring his quirky videos.
Snippets of great information
In these days of information overload, it’s good to get bite size pieces of advice that you can take on board immediately. One of the people I’ve subscribed to sends emails just about every day. Is that too much? No, because he always has something useful to say that I can apply to my day to day business life. In fact, if he misses a day, I notice!
If something happens that affects me I want to know about it from my advisers. So, if the VAT rules change I expect my accountant to tell me. I don’t want him to tell me about changes to the rules for submitting payroll returns as I don’t employ staff. Try to segment your list as much as possible and be selective with your emails.
A Thank You
Just today a got an email from my web hosting company. I’ve been with them for years for various websites and seen them grow from a couple of guys to over 50 staff. I’m not a big spender but I have recommended them to a number of my clients and they’ve never let me down. This email said Thank You for supporting them from the early days, gave some updates on where they are now and invited me to come along to an open day.
I’ll be recommending them again. (PS: If you are looking for great value hosting with exceptional support, talk to www.vidahost.co.uk).
What I Hate
Subscribing me to your newsletter by default.
As a regular networker, I frequently find myself subscribed to the newsletters of people with whom I’ve exchanged business cards. Sometimes even the newsletters of people I didn’t talk to but who took my email from the attendees list. Sorry – that is not permission to send me marketing emails. Nor is connecting on LinkedIn. It’s OK to send me a single, (preferably personalised) email after the event asking if I’d like to subscribe. In fact, if you do this, I’ll almost always sign up because I know you’re someone who cares about the emails they send.
If I know you reasonably well, I also don’t mind if you send out an occasional email with some important news – an office move, or a new service or event which is particularly relevant to me – but don’t just put me on your newsletter list.
Who the **** are you?
You’ve probably received these too – the emails from someone you don’t recognise at all greeting you like their best friend. It usually turns out to be someone you met briefly a couple of years ago who now has a new role and wants to resurrect their contact list.
The “This is not Spam” email
If you have to explain why it’s not spam, it almost certainly IS spam.
The fake sincerity
The email equivalent of the cold callers who ask “and how are you today?”. Asking after my health, happiness or anything else is not going to persuade me to buy your stuff.
I received this the other day: “We hope this mail finds you in your most jovial state of mind!”
OK, this one did make me smile. But it didn’t make me read the rest of the mail to find out what they were selling (probably SEO services). Straight into the spam folder.
Not receiving anything from you
If I susbscribe to your newsletter or am a client, then I’d like to hear from you from time to time. I don’t want to find out about your fabulous 50% off sale on Facebook a day after it ends. If you’ve built a list of contacts and fans who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, then make sure you keep in touch.
…. and finally
If I unsubscribe from your email list, it’s because I don’t want to receive emails from you. Please don’t then send me an email asking me why or suggesting I reconsider.
Do you agree with my examples? Let me know your loves and hates in the comments.