Are you practicing preventative marketing? You are if your messages and delivery vehicles are irrelevant! I'm feeling a tad cranky today. I got the third irrevant e-mail from a guy we'll call Ted. He wants me to attend a session he'll be conducting on Saturday at which he PROMISES to teach me how to make more money. (Never trust someone who PROMISES in all caps.) In addition to the e-mails I've gotten once a week for a month now, I also got a handwritten postcard from Ted in which he spelled my name incorrectly (despite knowing me personally and using a mailing list from a professional organization we belong to). So I wrote to Ted and asked him to remove me from his e-mail list. I told him he was starting to irritate me. Amazingly, Ted responded with yet another e-mail in which he explained that he was practicing a marketing method he wants to teach me. He claims his "drip marketing" strategy of sending multiple e-mails and postcards usually results in driving enormous traffic to his seminars. He closed by pointing out that these notes that I found irritating were actually important tools I should learn. In other words, he's only irritating me for my own good. So not only is Ted annoying, he's condescending. What a powerful combination. No wonder people flock to his seminars. I tried in my usual charming, gentle way to let Ted know that I found his tactics to be both annoying and irrelevant. Apparently, my third note to him did the trick. He didn't write back. Maybe there really is something to this whole three-peat methodology. Here's the lesson for all of us: make sure your marketing messages are relevant to your audience. It's not always about you, after all. People want to know why they should give you their precious time and money. Focus on how the audience benefits from what you have to offer. And then make sure you're making your offer using the vehicle your audience wants you to use. Don't just do what's convenient for you, such as mass e-mails designed to look like a personal note. Common sense? You bet. But as my friend, Phil Van Hooser likes to say, "Common sense really isn't that common."


At May 18, 2006 12:23 AM, Blogger Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC said...

Marilynn, you are so right on, once again. I know the person you are referencing, and you are kind to not just call his obtuseness clueless. Unfortunately, it gives all marketers a bad name, as they are so focused on what they want they forget to think about what their prospect wants.

Thanks once again for sharing your sage insights with wit and humor.

Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC
blog: http://www.insightsandinformation.wordpress.com

At May 18, 2006 8:19 AM, Blogger Sam Horn, POP of Mind said...

Marilynn: Please keep sharing this important message so that people who flood their mailing list (and any mailing list they can unscrupulously get their hands on) will cease and desist.

Another pet peeve is when we receive an email from a long-lost friend who tells us how "excited" she is about a new product and offers a link -- and when you check it out you realize this email is really a multi-level marketing scheme in which she makes money every time someone clicks on the provided link and purchases something.

Your column is a much-needed reminder that our emails and outreach efforts can't just be relevant to US (e.g., it will put dollars in OUR bank account); they must be relevant to the RECIPIENT and offer them tangible value as well or it's not a win-win communication.

Keep up the good work!

Sam Horn


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