Thursday, 7 May 2015

Bad Email Marketing Relationships – Doomed From the Start

We all know that the money is in your list and I would openly encourage any marketer to aggressively grow their database of contacts. But sometimes marketers mistake aggressive list growth strategies for plain bad practice. In cases like this, your new relationships are doomed from the start.
Remember, when you are building a list you are starting many new, hopefully positive (and lucrative) relationships. There is a person at the end of each new email you collect and you will want to keep that person happy because it’s much easier to make money out of happy people.
As a professional email marketer, I want everyone to love email. That includes both senders and recipients because as soon as someone is unhappy with the relationship, everything has the potential to turn sour and this is not good news for anyone.
So when I see someone engaged in bad (harmful) email marketing practice – you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to shout about it.
Check-in For Spam
I recently returned from a short family holiday on the Spanish island of Tenerife. While standing in line to check-in our hold luggage I was accosted by an official looking lady who I initially believed to work for the airline. She had worked her way along the entire queue (around the zig-zag ropes), busying herself collecting personal details (name, telephone number, email address) which most people, seemed only too happy to give her.
She never introduced herself, she just efficiently took details. Nobody asked why she was collecting the details. I have to admit, I was more than happily to comply myself until she asked for my home telephone number.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
She looked at me quite shocked before replying, “It’s to win a holiday”.
Turns out she had nothing to do with the airline or even the airport and her definition of a holiday was also quite different from mine.
She represented a timeshare company and was building an email/cold call list by stealth.
Needless to say, when I arrived home I had won a week’s holiday for two at a fabulous Spanish resort. All I had to do was pay for my flight, my meals and attend a 3-hour sales presentation.
No thank you.
3 Rules for Building Happy Email Relationships
  1. Be Honest: Tell people who you are and why you are collecting data. Never pretend to be someone you are not.
  2. Explain Benefits: While I am not in the market for a timeshare property, there could have been people in the line who would have been more than happy to receive details about her product or service. It’s much better to send to a warm, receptive list than a cold, angry one.
  3. Don’t Play Games: Fronting a marketing offer as a contest is a little old hat and can quite frankly stink of a scam. Get to the point and we’ll all be a little happier to receive your marketing communications.
Remember, email marketing will only ever deliver optimum results if your recipients are happy to receive your marketing messages and your campaigns are relevant, timely and engaging. Collecting data via stealth (basically telling a lie) is not a good way to build relationships.
How do you build your email marketing lists? Share your best practices below:
About John W. Hayes
With more than 18-years’ experience in online marketing and ecommerce, John W. Hayes works with major technology brands including iContact and Viralheat, demonstrating how organizations of all sizes can maximize their potential from email, social media and content marketing-led strategies. He is the author of three books, Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership MarketingA Crash Course in Email Marketing for Small and Medium-sized Businesses and Bricks & Mortar Oughta: What Real World Businesses Can Learn from The Internet. He is a regular speaker at events throughout the UK, Europe and the US and is a prolific blogger across numerous sites. To learn more about John W. Hayes’ latest projects you can connect directly with him on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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