I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters, and I know that trading my email address for free products, videos, and reports would subject my inbox to a steady stream of email messages with an intended up-sell… But the email I got the other day really irritated me and inspired this post.
A while ago, I opted in to this person’s website who is a self-proclaimed social media expert (who I will not disclose out of privacy concerns) with my first name and email address and watched the free video, which wasn’t that good and didn’t really provide any value. The free video was just a lame sales pitch.
Over the next several months I received a barrage of emails, at least two a week, of poorly disguised sales pitches and affiliate promotions, with nothing new of “value” since the initial free video. I guess I could have unsubscribed, but this person uses Infusionsoft for email marketing, just like we do, and I thought maybe I will pick up something new I didn’t know with the software.
So, to get to the point of the story, the other day I received and email that read something like this:
“Hey, it’s me, XXXXX.
I just noticed you haven’t opened one of my emails or clicked a link in the last 4 months. Which means this email address is dead, or you just don’t want to be on my list any more :-( So I’m getting ready to remove you from my mailing list unless I see “signs of life” from your email address. Please click this link just to let me know you are still alive: http://www.facebook.com/vanityURL (identity protected)
If you click the link I will assume your email address is still good and will NOT remove you from my list.
P.S. This link simply takes you to my fan page, where I have prepared a great short article for you to read on how to start monetizing your Facebook account now. Please visit the Fan Page so I know not to remove you from my list.”
Now as a loyal Infusionsoft user, I know that you can create trackable links and view click through reports, and view reports of unopened emails to get a rough idea of your email marketing effectiveness, but no online marketer in the world would manually remove someone off of their list, just because they haven’t clicked on one of their links or “opened” an HTML email. What if their email reader is set to plain text only? I knew this was a cheap attempt at trying to get me to click on his link, and I didn’t. I wanted to see if he would really remove my name from his database, and he didn’t, just like I predicted.
About three days later, I got another email marketing message with another lame affiliate promotion. I really should just unsubscribe, but the material I am getting for blog posts is worth the onslaught. I want to send him a message and tell him, “If you actually sent me something of value and didn’t constantly pollute my inbox, maybe I would click a link once in a while.”
Email marketing can be a great way to engage your audience and the majority of the newsletters I subscribe to routinely provide value and are worth reading. In fact, my favorite gets published everyday and I can barely keep up to read all the great content I receive.
So don’t try lame email marketing tactics like this. You are either going to see your results plummet, or become fodder for other bloggers.