By Susan Richter, Marketing Communications Manager

It’s fair to say we’re a cynical bunch when it comes to being a consumer. After all, we’ve had a lot of practice. We know phrases like “never seen before low prices” and “wait…there’s more” are mostly hype, and we know BOGOF doesn’t always translate into better value.

What about as business consumers? Especially marketers? Ramp that cynicism up to the max! We know all the tricks and which questions to ask. We can see through the marketing hype, which makes us better at scouting out value and finding what we actually need. At least it should!

But it also means that as marketers marketing to fellow marketers, we need to be spot on because we’re a far less forgiving bunch. It’s a bit more complex than making sure the content is relevant to the target audience, timely and has value. It’s about getting the little things right, being smart and continuously striving for improvement.

Without sounding too sanctimonious or naming and shaming, here’s my list of things to avoid based on real examples:

– Don’t tell me you’ve prospected with care and then ask if I am the right contact to approach
– Personalisation is great; but don’t talk like you know me. You can be friendly and engaging without being creepy!
– Don’t send a follow-up email to a mythical first email. Even worse, don’t send a follow-up email three hours after the first one
– Don’t try sell me things that are clearly not appropriate for a PR agency or part of our offering – like a listing on Amazon or social media services
– Pay attention to your preview text and make sure your subject line, even if the email is valid, doesn’t sound like a phishing email or clickbait
– Don’t send the same email twice from two different salespeople
– Don’t send the same email to me a few weeks apart featuring the same spelling mistake!
– I appreciate some may like this approach, but don’t ask me to click on your diary to book in a call! You want it? You need to work for it.

And finally… proofreed…proferead…proofread. Don’t let grammar issues, typos or blatant misspellings creep into your emails!

All that said, I am not a complete grump. I do enjoy a good sales email, even when the content / service on offer isn’t that relevant to me. I received a great message the other day that was self-deprecating (yes, I am aware it was the author not the message 😊), honest and quite funny.

            “Hi Susan – bumped into you on LinkedIn and I was hoping to try and strongarm you into a dull and monotonous pitch where we can bore you to death on the wild tales of our many digital successes.

Not really, but my boss told me to try some varied approach methods – not sure that one will stick.”

Now that is something I can appreciate!


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