More ways marketing continues to fail

SUMMARY:

How many ways can email marketing continue to fail. Here are three examples from my inbox from the last week. Is the problem email? No – it’s about understanding the data.

failEmail address harvesting is a particularly pernicious activity that serves to pollute inboxes the world over. It seems to go in spates that I believe are tied to:

  • email address sales to any outfit that wants them
  • an inability among marketers to understand what the email address means and
  • a scattergun approach to email blasts.

In addition, there are other forms of indiscriminate email blasting. Here are a few random examples from my inbox from the last week.

fail 1

The form which was used to send this missive came from a site that has been dormant for three years. Someone must have completed the form even if it was a cut and paste job. They must have seen that the last post on the site in question was in June 2010.

Then there is the LinkedIn faux pas. This from someone I’ve met and talked to at length:

jessep error

If the person or his team had done a little research they could have discovered that diginomica is already a Xero customer. In this case they’re trawling for business but with the Xero carrot in hand. That requires two approaches. One that assumes (or knows) the customer is already the user of a specific accounting solution and another that assumes the potential customer isn’t. In this case, the correspondent made the fatal error of not thinking this through. Given that Xero has many thoudsands of UK customers then they might want to think about a different approach.

This next one is from an accountant who fancies himself as a marketer. Other than the fact I’ve recevied this email twice (and have no idea why I received it in the first place), the content is a bit of a mystery. See what you make of it.

mark lee FUHere’s the problem. What is the purpose of my clicking one of the links? Am I confirming a subscription? Apparently so – see the following web page clip:

Mark lee FU2

That’s how it looks to me though goodness knows what’s happening in the background. This person is using InfusiuonSoft and once again we see the obvious flaw. Part of its pitch is to  automate marketing campaigns. Well, it might be doing that, but the starting point as executed by this chap is far from ideal.

As Stuart Lauchlan recently said:

…you clearly need to invest in more data management skills. You just can’t get away from that one. Investing in more and more technologies to assists in accumulating and slicing and dicing data is all good and well, but we’re going to be back to that hoary old cliché of the data deluge unless we actively know what to do with all this stuff.

Now each of these cases is a small business doing the best they can with the available tools. We know that email marketing is far from dead. But that’s not the problem here. It’s about the data and making sense of the complexities inherent in understanding individuals. Even so and has been said on many an occasion: the small business has exactly the same problems as the larger business. And when it goes wrong, it is just as annoying to the recipient.

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    1. tpowlas says:

      I agree that e-mail marketing is far from dead but goodness, the e-mails you show above are very entertaining.
      I can actually hear your voice as I am reading the blog post.
      Sadly I get several unwanted marketing e-mails a week, and if they only knew that this is a quick trip to the spam folder/junk mail folder.

      1. says:

        tpowlas I’d prefer that they know how they’re screwing up. The problem is I don’t have enough time to deal with all of them. And that’s me as someone who would like to see this stuff work. Imagine what it’s like for everyone else?

        1. tpowlas says:

          dahowlett tpowlas Sad news on my side – I have no time to help any of them (for some reason I have zero sympathy) yet it is good to know someone like you points these things out – though I myself rely on e-mail marketing.
          Oddly I don’t mind the e-mails where / when I’ve opted in, it’s the unsolicited ones I can’t stand.
          I find the subscription one very funny – I’ve never seen anything like that before.