Home » Customer Experience » Why I Delete Your Marketing Emails

Why I Delete Your Marketing Emails

image

Dear B2B Marketer,

I wanted to tell you why I never read your emails beyond the subject line and first sentence. And why your email probably never makes it to my inbox again. And then, if you can believe it, I’m going to share what it would take to keep me reading.

  1. You address me by name, but you clearly know nothing about me.
    You found my name in a database and cleverly placed it into the body of the email, thinking that calling me by name would get my attention. But the rest of your email is clearly a generic blast.With so many people clamoring for my attention all day long, if it is clear that you don’t know me, I have no reason to know you.

    Delete.

  2. The first thing you say is “I” or “We”.
    “I wanted to see if you were interested…”
    “We have qualified candidates…”
    “When we first launched…”
    “I wanted to see if I could have five minutes of your time….”

    It isn’t all about you, as much as you might think it is. It’s about both of us and the potential relationship that might be worthwhile to us. Notice how in “B2B”, both Bs are the same size. That should be apparent in your email.

    Delete.

  3. You express dismay that I haven’t responded to previous emails/calls.
    “I sent you an email last week…”
    “I was wondering if you had a chance to review my earlier emails…”
    “I’ve left you 3 voicemails and sent 2 emails and tried to tweet you directly.”

    The guilt-trip approach doesn’t work.It reminds me of the paper mailings where printed on the envelope were the words “The favor of a reply is requested.”

    Delete.

  4. You start out “In a world…”
    “In today’s economy, IT managers are increasingly…”
    “To meet the rising demands of today’s open cloud solutions…”
    “Annual performance reviews are the corporate equivalent of a root canal…”

    Unless your email is read to me by that cool movie-preview-voiceover guy along with a nice trailer, I’m out.

    Delete.

  5. You Attempt to Mislead Me in Your Subject Line
    “Follow Up”
    “I visited your website today”
    “Quick Email before I Call”
    “RE: Connecting this Week”

    Don’t try and pretend you are already in the middle of a conversation with me when you’re not. You’ve just revealed your deceptive nature to me.

    Delete.

Once your email falls into one of the five categories above, in one smooth motion I slide your email into a bulk email folder. From that point forward, any emails from you bypass my inbox and go straight to the bulk email folder. I’ll probably never see one again.

If you want to get through to me – if you want to stand out head and shoulders above everyone who uses all these tired methods above – try the following…

  1. Know Thy Prospect
    If you want to get my attention, show me that you know me. My public profile is everywhere. And don’t say you can’t get to know me without talking to me first. If you want to initiate a conversation, do your homework. In fact, let me make it easy for you.

    Do that and I’m still reading.

  2. Hit Me Where I Live
    If you’ve done #1, it shouldn’t take much work to get to #2. If you know me, then you’ll know if I am really a prospect. And if I am a prospect, you’ll know where my needs and interests are.

    Do that and I’m still reading.

  3. Come Across as a Single, Unique Human Being
    The handful of B2B marketing emails that I have responded to are personable. The sender clearly seems to be a unique human being talking to me personally about something of interest.

    Subject: Heritage Auctions is Amazing

    Hi, Brian. Your auction platform caught my eye – so many unique collectibles and significant objects! If only I had the money to buy that Nobel Prize you guys are selling. I’ll bet you have an army of great software engineers that make everything work together for all your consignors and buyers out there. If you ever have a need to find more people for your team, I can probably help – and I’d love to work with such an interesting company.The combination of knowing me and being personal makes it hard to resist engagement.

    I’m still reading.

  4. Tell Stories
    It’s hard to resist a good story – it’s my native language. And I’ll bet it is the native language of the rest of your prospects.

    Subject: The Software Launch Disaster that got Michael Promoted

    When Michael authorized the launch of a major software upgrade on Monday morning, he didn’t know that decision would change his life. At go-live time, the entire system failed. The rollback process failed. They were down. While the rest of the team frantically tried to isolate the problem, Michael’s phone rang. It was the CEO. He winced, picked up the phone, and heard these words…

    Okay, I have to know how this story ends now. How does a launch disaster get you promoted?How does Michael get out of this jam? What did the CEO say?

    I’m still reading.

  5. Be Transparent
    Don’t hide behind deceptive gimmicks, freebies, exclamation points, guilt trips, deadlines, and boilerplate. Just be honest, open, and up front about the goal of your email – a goal that works for both of us.

    Subject: The Software Launch Disaster that got Michael Promoted

    When Michael authorized the launch of a major software upgrade on Monday morning, he didn’t know that decision would change his life. At go-live time, the entire system failed. The rollback process failed. They were down. While the rest of the team frantically tried to isolate the problem, Michael’s phone rang. It was the CEO. He winced, picked up the phone, and heard these words……

    …Michael’s escape from the clutches of disaster is what we live for. We aren’t miracle workers, but we understand the software development life cycle – especially in an environment like yours. And all we want to do is help you make your launches smoother.

    I’m still reading.

These are just common-sense approaches to improving response rates to B2B marketing emails. Remember, ultimately marketing emails are about two people talking together as human beings. If you sound like one, I just might listen like one.


1 Comment

  1. Your faithful student says:

    CHBC Pun Master – My tickled feet have not forgotten your torment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: