Hi there, email marketers! You probably sent me a marketing email — or maybe you sent me 20. Each one seems to be more urgent:
- This is great!
- Can we meet?
- I’m in town next week!
- I keep missing you.
- Are you available for a call this week?
- If you’re not the right person, can you tell me who is?
Here’s the thing: Each of these emails got only a passing glance and only serve to irritate me more with each follow-up. No, I don’t want to meet. No, I didn’t send you a meeting request. No, I don’t want whatever it is you’re selling. No, I will not tell you who to contact, because you’re probably already spamming them, too. One of these emails even proposed days and times. That would be helpful, except it was clearly automated because the proposed day was Thanksgiving. If you can’t be bothered to make sure you aren’t requesting holiday calls in your auto-sender, I definitely can’t be bothered to answer.
Open Trackers Don’t Tell the Whole Story
So why do all these marketers think I’m interested in whatever they’re selling? Because they’re tracking “email opens.” But those trackers only tell them that it was opened. It doesn’t indicate if it was actually read.
Since Outlook doesn’t filter emails into a “promotions” category, and these emails only show me the person’s name rather than their email address, I work through them in order every morning. It gets one second of my attention unless it proves to be a client, colleague or something I’m actually interested in (like something I intentionally subscribed to).
Advice for Email Marketing Done Better
- Get my name right. This should be obvious, but I’ve received emails addressed to Adele, Amy, Arthur and [First Name]. That’s my first clue that I don’t want your product or service.
- Don’t use vague subject lines. Instead of “This is great!” use “Improve Your Audience Identification.”
- Provide links to more information and track those clicks. If I click through and read your material, then you have a stronger indicator that I’m interested than if I merely opened the email. A link to your company in the email signature doesn’t count. Direct me to white papers, case studies or demos that help make your case.
- Stop following up multiple times. I understand following up once, maybe twice if an email was opened, but don’t email more than that. If I want your service, I WILL CONTACT YOU.
- If I don’t respond, remove me from your list. Especially remove me from your list if you’ve emailed me weekly for the last six years and I haven’t answered one single time. Stop. Seriously.