Stop Sending Emails that Trick me into a Conversation.

Just because you can push a button and fire off an email to your closest 300 prospects, doesn't mean you should.

In fact, if the emails you're sending are anything like the emails filling up most our inboxes, you need to take a step back from the keyboard and get a new marketing plan.

We are breaking email marketing.

It's true.

It's hard to deny that most of the email conversations we send are downright silly.

They are the same type of stuff that we delete with hardly a second's worth of time or attention.

We know better.  Even when this nonsense gets mixed in between dozens of other emails that need our attention

We've seen it all before, right?

  • There's always a holiday.
  • There's always another "super, big, fantastical deal".
  • There's always another reason the buyer needs to "act now".

We're annoyed when we're the guy in the "to:" line.

But we're all to willing to generate this stuff by the truckload if we think it will help us generate a few extra leads.

And that's a healthy goal.

Lead generation is the key to making sure you hit your sales goals.

But tricky leads into having a conversation is just about the worst sales and marketing idea of all time...

And before you stop and indignantly reassure me that you don't do any of that type of thing, take a look at this email.

It probably looks pretty familiar.

And maybe I was just in a bad mood when I saw this last week, but it certainly started to drive me insane when I started to dive a little deeper in the conversation.

You are probably annoyed at a few of these things as well.

You feel like you are being tricked into a conversation that you don't really want to have.

Here are five things you need to avoid:

  1. Using trite imagery without a conversation that references it later -- What's the point of the email?  The imagery makes me think that you might be trying to wish me a "Merry Christmas".  You don't need to.  I won't be offended if you decide to go another direction.  But it is confusing that you don't ever reference why you have those images there.  It's distracting.  And confusing.  Instead of the conversation that you want to have with me, my mind is reexamining why it doesn't all add up.  And then I feel a little stupid that I can't seem to understand it.
  2. Writing confusing body content that has me thinking you sent the email to the wrong person -- Why do I have to reread your paragraph to try to figure out what you are trying to say?  It's not helpful.  It makes me stop and wonder if maybe you have the wrong person.  Bad grammar, incomplete thoughts, and unclear assumptions force most people to just stop reading your pitch.
  3. Referring to yourself (or the supposed sender) in the third person -- Are you having a conversation with me or not?  There is nothing that destroys a conversations faster than you realizing that the person you are talking with doesn't really care.  Doesn't really care about you.  Doesn't really care about the conversation that they started.  That the person is happy to talk with you as long as you agree to do what they want you to do.  Use the first person if you are sending a personal email.  Use the first person if you are inserting a signature.  Anything else is just pretentious.
  4. Using white space to mask the mass email status of the conversation -- Are you trying to hide something?  If it's a mass email, then use language that is personal, but directed to a group.  Use wording that indicates that the recipient is important but part of a larger group of people that is being communicated with.  That can even work to drive camaraderie between the the different people who are part of this communication thread.  But being tricky (or appearing tricky) is just a bad way to start building rapport.
  5. Trapping the reader into unreliable "unsubscribe" activity -- Is there a link to get me out of you sending me future chicanery?  If I email you with "unsubscribe" will you email back letting me know that you have removed me from the email list?  After all the other screw-ups on this email and the "icky" way that I feel about you now, it just adds more distrust to your communication.  This is super simple to solve too.  Add a hyperlink that walks the read through their options as an unsolicited receiver of junk mail.  Trapping people just makes them furious.

If you want to talk, talk...

Most of us will stop and listen if you really want to talk.

So tricking us isn't really necessary in the first place

Don't forget that the next time you get ready to hit the "send" button