Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mass Email Marketing - A friendly rant

Mass Email Marketing - A success strategy?

Mass Email Marketing, Guerrilla marketing, spam, aggressive marketing

I would love to learn your view on this. I have a lot of direct Sales experience but am new to the whole internet thing. A few weeks ago I started a website and this blog, and it makes it necessary for me to think about my email strategy. I opened social media accounts. 

Spam or keeping in touch?

I might be overly sensitive or stuck in 2000 but to me the amount of messages I receive, even from vendors I respect and value, is annoying. I am from Germany, maybe there is also a cultural difference, and I have not yet adapted. 

Not just annoying but at least when it comes to my shopping behavior they are counterproductive. 

I am even missing out on information I would like to receive because at one point I unsubscribe from most sites or if that is not possible add a filter to auto delete messages. 

Some companies I shop with regularly send (sent) out up to three emails per day. They have a great mission statement, share my beliefs - beside their guerrilla marketing tactics. 

I go through these phases: 
Phase 1: Oh, nice, they keep me informed. I read the email.
Phase 2: Well, ok, another day another message. I scan the email for interesting content
Phase 3: Ok, guys. It is starting to get annoying, but I love you and will suffer through this. I stop reading the emails, knowing the next one will arrive soon. Naturally, I forget to read them as "the next will arrive soon" is so true. 
Phase 4: Well now you are getting on my nerves. The email has no value for me. Lightly aggravated I delete it. Unread. 
Phase 5: I have had it with you guys. I unsubscribe from all email lists. 
Phase 6: How dare you, spammer? Wow..there was another list I could not unsubscribe from as a "valued" customer? Filter, auto-delete, hasta la vista.

I refrain from name dropping. 

There are also excellent examples that keep me interested and in Phase 1. I will gladly read about new products and click on most links provided with the messages. Those messages are being sent when there is something worth telling. 

After phase 5 or 6 I am ready to miss out on product news, special offers and anything else. 

The company will have less sale from me because a) I do not receive info about new products or specials and b) I might order less just because without any communication the company slips my mind. 

Why do companies use guerilla tactics?

Now, first of all, I must be the only person feeling and reacting like this. 

Else not all of the big companies would work like this. But. Are the ones tormenting you with messages really the BIG ones? Or the medium ones. I think it is the medium ones. Oh, and the direct marketing people with their aggressive slogans are bad (but I never sign-up to their lists, really). 

New day same message: ONLY TODAY 105 % off, buy or you will never be happy ever after.

They must have the higher sale, the more messages they send out, right? I am convinced who pays for an external marketing company or pays salaries for an in-house marketing team has made their numbers homework. 

I did not find an answer to this yet. 

But I have a blog now, and a website and I will learn everything I need to learn about this new sales channel. 

My personal rules

Spam me once, shame on you. Next your blocked and can't get through. 
Never buy from a website forcing pop-ups on you (hey, my humble newsletter pop up does not count. I am talking about ads not related to the site I am visiting).

Credibility and honesty

The other thing that surprises me is the tv home shopping tactics of many vendors. Hey, nothing against home shopping television (I guess). 

I don't like
  • "Only today" special prices that are valid every day.
    I don't like. 
  • Fake value propositions that try to make me believe that the product is worth way more than the actual value.
     I don't like. 
  • Positioning regular product contents as free gifts.
    I don't like.
Please, do take me serious if you want me to take you serious. What am I in your eyes? Some learning challenged sub-par person that evolution skipped? Eager to be manipulated?

God damn! If you have something intriguing to suggest just tell it. Educate me and let me make my decision. Do not drive me away by devaluing my perception of your offer by treating me like a psychological experiment. 

In direct sales, I have learned that buying is supposed to be a pleasant experience. Sure, you want to close the deal, and I never had trouble doing so. The customer should feel respected and consulted into making a buying decision he felt great about.  Obviously, the rules for internet marketing are very different. 

How can you still reach people in 2015

Without selling your soul. I have an excellent track record of long-lasting customer relationships by being honest and providing the best possible service. But they still will have to find me first.

Social Media

Another thing I have to get used to. I started working on my social accounts a few weeks ago. I could not get myself to work with FB yet - I know I will have to.

The concept of reaching people easily and staying in touch real-time is fascinating.

What I will still have to adapt to is: Business and private life are two different shoes for me. I am not dishonest if I do not feel I need to share everything with everyone.

My taste is extremely versatile, surprising and at times not politically correct.

Now I have to have either two accounts or censor and limit myself. Does wanting privacy make me a fake? Is the business profile or the private one fake? Neither nor. 

I do not want to know what my client had for supper or if he is watching Chucky Cheese fights on youtube. I am not ashamed to admit that I am proud of our former governor, Pat Quinn, for winning the cinnamon challenge. I watched it three times. At least.

The other thing is that I seem to have less time for my friends. Many people have added me but how much do they interact? Also, I receive a lot of marketing messages and, even on linkedin, I must have seen every cut cat pic and every pseudo motivational quote (Cmon guys, empty motivational speech died in the 90ties) there is.

I feel like sharing: "Those old dogs still bite" about the new album of Faith no More. But I won't.  I do follow Brock Lesnar on Twitter (hey, this guy is a role model for commitment and his "eat sleep conquer repeat" is a strong statement for every (offline) sales guy).

Well, while I am writing this I heard the "ping" sound of incoming emails probably 42 times. I will go through those messages and make sure I have some time to share some things via unsocial media with people I care deeply about.

CEO Eric Schmidt (Google) on privacy
 "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

I will learn to love you, linkedin, googleplus, twitter, connector and I will work on hating you less, Facebook.

My personal marketing strategy

I have started this business for the purpose of making money by being myself and promoting my services and products I believe in.

I will send out a weekly newsletter at max and inform customers. I will learn to promote myself while staying within what I consider good taste lines. 

By the way: Only today you get 30 % of my regular prices, and a free set of brain stimulating essence made from the secret of a Tibetan wild cat will be added to your order if you buy in the next 12 seconds. 

Just kidding. 

Rant over. 

Just do not forget me even though I am not being loud on social media, ok? Sign up for my newsletter, I will never bug you.