I’ve received a spate of emails from various vendors recently, reaching out to offer me anything from financing for my business to sales leads.
The emails come from a person rather than a company name (generally a good practice). They are designed to look like your standard email, white background, plain text. The only thing that screams mass email (and makes me feel a little less special) is the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.
Whether or not I click or reply (I never do), they then send me several emails with subject lines like “Following up,” again from a person’s (not the company) name. Who wouldn’t open that? I don’t want to miss something important. They even sometimes throw in the default line that you see when an email is sent from mobile (with the unsubscribe link below).
Hi Lindsay. Just wanted to reach back out — any thoughts?
Sent from my small screen….please excuse any typos.
When I read through these emails, they are almost too personal. They sound like I must have met these people somewhere, maybe at a networking event. The problem is, I’ve never heard of them or their companies.
They’ve skipped a few steps in between acquiring my name as a lead and earning my trust. It’s a turnoff. (Not to mention, I generally recommend marketing actively to leads who willingly give up their information to you – a much more receptive, if smaller, crowd.)
Now, I’m all for personalized emails. And we all get emails that are customized for us from big brands like Twitter, Spotify and Amazon. (Check out some examples here from Hubspot.)
It’s about relevance, which adds value, and a lot of brands do a great job applying that in their marketing campaigns.
But take care not to drag that into creepy territory, especially if you don’t have the data to back it up. Don’t cram promotions or products down the throat of someone who may not even be a good fit for your services.
Make sure you’re providing value with every message you send, whether you know your list well or not. And consider segmenting your list and tailoring messaging to increase relevance.