Today I unsubscribed from the email list of a pretty big name in the digital marketing space.
It wasn’t that his content isn’t good. I like his writing style. It’s got a little edge to it, a little bite.
It wasn’t that I don’t value his expertise and clout in the digital marketing field. For the most part, I think he walks the talk. He’s fessed up in the past to his own failings and foibles on his way to big name success.
So, what was it?
He didn’t value my time and productivity.
My Inbox Is Busy Enough, Thank You
I don’t care how awesome you believe your launch, product, service or special offer to be, you’re not quite as important to my inbox as you’re telling yourself in the mirror each morning!
My time is just as valuable as yours. My clients expect me to produce, as I’m sure yours expect the same from you.
That being said, I don’t have time to wade through your multiple emails, all touting the terrific and testimony around your latest product or service launch.
You’ve really only got one chance to sell me, though I understand the need for need to send follow-ups, last chance messages and reminders.
Send Smarter, Not Harder (Or More Frequently)
When you send me more than one email in a given day, you prove to me that we have no relationship whatsoever, no matter how tiny and tenuous.
You see me only as potential dollar signs, another sale to mark in your books.
I don’t need a minute-by-minute blow by blow account of the sales progress of your new product. I don’t need multiple messages reminding me that the sale is “almost” over. Nor do I appreciate your efforts to guilt me into giving up my hard earned dollars.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Send smarter emails! You’ll stand a better chance of wooing my wallet.” quote=”Send smarter emails and you stand a better chance of wooing me to open my wallet.”]
Frequency is easy, especially with automation. Consider, instead, carefully crafting a message that actually sways me, rather than sending meaningless missives that clog my inbox. That hard sell hullaballoo is only causing me to staunchly submit my unsubscribe request.
Email Access Is A Privilege, Not A Right!
Access to my inbox is pretty sacred. I don’t allow just anyone access.
I’m quick to unsubscribe if you don’t take my time seriously. There are plenty of worthy and worthwhile lists to which I can subscribe. You’re not the only fish in the pond. So you’ve got to swim on the side of right or there’s the potential you’ll soon find yourself belly up, at least in my eyes!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Silly marketer … access to my inbox is a privilege, not a right! #emailmarketing” quote=”Silly marketer … access to my inbox is a privilege, not a right!”]
Treat your time in my inbox as a privilege and you stand a good chance of staying on the nice list!
Reply All and Spam …
NOT a match made in heaven!
We all deal with spam. Probably on a daily basis. It comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s delivered by so many different means.
But, a few of you are adding to the time suck and rolling eyes. Maybe without even knowing it.
Don’t Feed The Animals, Especially Not Spam!
C’mon people. Use a little common sense and stop spreading the spamsanity. Yes, that’s one of my made up words, but I think it’s quite fitting. It perfectly describes what I can only hope is the mindless and hysterical spreading of spam through silly clicks and response tactics.
None of us want spam. Anywhere. It infiltrates our in-boxes. It taunts us in Twitter DMs. It makes us listless about Linkedin. I could go on and on.
Spam wastes our time and it negatively impacts our productivity. We have to monitor it on our websites, in the comments and via our contact forms. We have to clear it out of our inboxes. Even if we have systems in place to catch it, the final delete is something we have to deploy.
So, it’s all the more annoying when the spam cycle is continued with a ridiculous reply-all response.
Stop Aiding & Abetting
When you reply-all to a spam send, you’re adding to the trash. That’s one more email, one more message, one more notification I have to address.
Whether your response is positive or negative, when you regularly reply-all, you show me you don’t value my time any more than the initial spammer.
It’s bad enough when you have my email for a reason. It’s absolutely heinous when you use a social media platform (I’m calling you out Linkedin) to deliver spammy service offerings to the unsuspecting and uninterested. When you hit reply-all to an obviously spammy send, I’m going to inform Linkedin that your response is spam, too.
Sound harsh? Too bad. No one wants to see a single spam send turn into a spam thread.
Respond To Spam The Right Way! One-on-One!
If you’ve ever taken part in any formal, regimented networking you know that have a rule, which I’m paraphrasing here:
… positive in public, negative where no one else is listening.
When it comes to spam, especially spam sent out to multiple parties (I’m looking at you again, Linkedin), all responses should be private.
While the spam send might be the exact silly service your business needs, you don’t need to let the rest of us know! We don’t care! We don’t know Y-O-U!
As for letting the spammer know it’s not super-duper? I give them one chance. I reply, privately, that what they’re doing doesn’t work for me (and plenty of others). If they repeat spam? Report!
Together we can stop the spamsanity. Really! If we stop reply-all ridiculosity we’re already adding to the calm, rather than creating a cacophony that clearly benefits NO ONE!
I often get article ideas as I fly through my Facebook feed. That they’re often my most snarky reads is telling, but that’s another discussion for another time and publish.
This one really grabbed my attention, as it came from a marketer who’s coming back after a fairly long hiatus. I’ve been carefully watching and monitoring the re-entry.
The post was targeted to email marketers and email content. The premise? Losing the noise to gain the reads.
Funnily enough, the post touted creating killer titles. The title they chose? 4 Newsletter Tips. Not sure killer is the descriptor I’d use, but … again, time to get back on topic.
Content Clutter: What To Cut?
As I don my devil’s advocate horns, I say you should keep some of the clutter, some of the noise, in your content? Am I mad?
Crazy like a fox, maybe!
You Can Clean-Up Too Much!
When you take that one step too far in an attempt to create the most clear and concise content, you often end up with a canned, vanilla, or otherwise unappealing read.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Too much #content clean-up gains you lackluster content that fails to inspire!” quote=”Too much #content clean-up gains you lackluster content that fails to inspire!” theme=”style4″]
Why is this? Because you’ve stripped out all of the personality, all of the verve, all of the pizazz. When you clear out the “clutter,” you often clear out the creative quirks that help you stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
You might respond with …
But so-and-so writes like this!
And I’ll engage in some witty repartee along the lines of …
If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?
Some Noise Can Stand Out!
We’ve all heard about content shock and how your content, to be seen, must stand out amongst all the other noise. It makes sense.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you never make noise, your content won’t be heard above the current sound.” quote=”But, if you never make any noise, you can’t possibly be heard above the current sound.” theme=”style4″]
Consider music. Taken down to its very core, it’s meant to be heard. Thus, if we decide to go for extreme simplicity, all music is noise. We choose to listen to the musical style that appeals to us.
It’s much the same thing when it comes to the articles we read and the blogs we choose to follow. We read what we like, what makes us think, what appeals to us.
We’re drawn to specific noise.
Voice, Style, Tone? Not Noise!
Because we’re often reading, rather than listening to the content to which we subscribe (podcasts are another issue entirely), the noise is experienced with our eyes, not our ears.
Just yesterday, I received a lovely compliment, via Twitter. The new connection told me he loved my writing style. I was flattered, of course.
But here’s the thing. My writing style isn’t clean. It isn’t crisp. It’s fairly cluttered. I’m a noisy writer. There’s a lot of me thrown into the ideas and concepts I share when writing. A LOT.
Is all of my alliteration absolutely necessary? No. Am I getting rid of it in future. Again, no.
Do my article intros sometimes ramble? Sure. But I like to set a scene. And those who choose to read what I write seem to like that scene setting.
Embrace Your Necessary Noise!
We’re certainly not saying you should cram in clutter in order to ramp up your word count. Shorter posts certainly can be sweet when they get the point across quickly and well.
I rarely publish lengthy tomes. But I still embrace the noise that makes my content my own. I refuse to set aside the very style that has gained me readers in a bid to gain different readers. That would be akin to throwing out the baby with the bath water. Silly and senseless.
Wordcamp Atlanta Absolutely Rocked!
I had a fantastic weekend full of networking and learning. From the fantastic food to the many new friends made, Wordcamp Atlanta (#wcatl) was a fantastic experience.
The day after a conference or event is often divided between playing catch-up and creating deeper connections with the awesome people you met while attending.
My rainy Monday morning to-do list includes the following:
- Emailing clients whose projects need updates.
- Cleaning out the email I didn’t get to read/delete over the weekend.
- Adding some more handles to #wcatl Twitter list.
- Connecting with a few folks on Linkedin.
- Seeing which #wcatl attendees are Google+ geeks like me.
- Checking out presenter and attendee websites.
- Checking out presenter and attendee blogs (if applicable) for content to share.
- Reviewing and setting up some of the tools shared during the weekend presentations.
- Reviewing and setting up/revising some of the plug-ins shared during the weekend presentations.
- Making some small tweaks to my own site, based on some of the smarts and best practices shared by event presenters.
- Doing all of the same for Derek because he’s not the connecter/follower-upper that I am!
That to-do list isn’t complete. It’s actually about double the size, and I certainly won’t be checking off all of those items today, or even this week. But, you’ve now read more than 200 words, and you’d probably like me to make good on my title, so I’ll get to the point.
I Will NOT Be Adding Any Wordcamp Attendees to My Mailing List Without Permission!
Sadly, this is a topic I’ve written about recently, and fairly often in my content marketing past.
My email address and my inbox are sacred. I choose what enters that inner sanctum (to a point of course, I’m trying to create dramatic effect here). I choose which lists to join.
Spamming me will certainly put you on my radar, but not in the most positive of ways, In fact, I’m going to mark you with a yellow card and keep a close eye on you. A second misstep will get you ejected from the game. Yes, I’ve played quite a bit of soccer!
Permission Is Paramount!
We’ve talked briefly, between sessions or over lunch. And I absolutely do want to get to know you a little better. I took your business card or asked for your Twitter handle for that very reason.
And that’s the key. I asked. I did not assume. It’s about choice and willingness on both sides of this new relationship.
You can choose not to follow me on Twitter. You certainly don’t have to connect with me on Linkedin or add me to one of your Google Plus circles. I can follow you and even share your content without taking away your choice.
But if I manually add you to my mailing list, eschewing the opt-in process, I’m taking away your choice. I’m invading your space under an assumption that you want my email content. It’s like me walking up and taking a bite of your conference chocolate chip cookie (they were FABULOUS, BTW) without asking. At the very least you’re going to look at me askance. At worst, you may very well slap my hand or face!
My Inbox, My Choice!
Don’t assume and don’t presume. If someone wants more of your content or wants that content delivered via their inbox, they’ll take the required steps.
I’ll be signing up for a few mailing lists today. I’m also pretty sure I’ll be opting-out of some lists to which I never opted-in. It’s part of doing business the digital way. But it shouldn’t be.
Treat me with respect by treating my inbox with the same regard!
It seems that moronic marketing tactics and activities come round in cycles. Have you ever noticed that?
I get waves of poorly pondered automatic DMs on Twitter. Then, a week or so passes and I start to see boorish batch posting, often on Twitter, but also on Facebook, Instagram and even Google+. If I wait another week I’m sure to see some other nefarious “ninja” behavior which will cause me to shake my head and bemoan the bumbling idiots who give the digital marketing industry a bad name.
This week, I’m sad to say (well, not all that sad as it’s given me a nice rant rampant topic for an article), sees one of the cyclical returns of the mailing list moron.
Who Is The Mailing List Moron?
So, who is this rogue marketer? Who is this moron marauding our inbox?
First of all I understand that a “marauder” is someone who steals, and I’ll get to that in just a moment!
The mailing list moron is that sad marketer or business owner who still hasn’t managed to suss out the difference between acceptable email practices and spam submissions.
Spam, it seems to me, couldn’t be easier to spot. If I didn’t ask for it, it’s probably spam. If you send offers and event invites without ever engaging in a single conversation with me, it’s probably spam.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a gigantic gray area for many a marketer. It’s some sort of cloudy mask that makes rather obvious spam sends seem smart and savvy.
I think all marketers should be forced to read, pass a test for reading comprehension, and the sign off on the CAN-SPAM Act. Yes, it’s a long and detailed document, but it’s LAW!
But even a quick scan pretty effectively spells out spam, so there really can’t be any allowance for confusion and continued spammy sends and suffering (on my part, and the part of anyone else who receives mail from the morons).
Permission Is Paramount!
I’m ready to get back to the idea of the mailing list moron engaging in thievery. No, I don’t think most offenders are intent upon stealing my identity or my clients. It’s a much more subtle swindle.
The acts of these individuals steal my choice and my time.
The email newsletters and updates that make their speedy digital way to my inbox should be of my choosing. I decide what’s right for my already full reading list.
Like many a marketer, my inbox is pretty ding-danged full of the messages I want to receive, along with receipts for digital services, update notices and, this might shock you, requests from my clients and colleagues!
I shouldn’t have to waste my time wading in to see what you’ve sent me when I didn’t ask for it!
I Shouldn’t Have To Opt-Out!
You might be thinking, but it only takes a few seconds to opt-out of the emails you don’t want to receive. And you’re correct. But, consider the marketer that makes a lot of connections. And consider if even a handful of those new connections decide to add that poor marketer to a list without permission. It ends up adding several opt-outs to that marketer’s to-do list.
If that marketer is anything like me (and probably you, too), that to-do list is pretty full. Possibly bursting at the seams.
Even the smallest of distractions can derail the busy.
And when I’m sent an email without my permission, I choose to let the sender know that I’m a bit miffed. So it’s not a few seconds clicking on the unsubscribe button. If there’s no means of mentioning their moronic measure in the opt-out form, I take the time to send a note.
Why do I do this? Because I have the tiniest tempting glimmer of hope that I can dissuade the moron from adding other busy marketers to his/her list. I’m paying it forward.
That, however, doesn’t stop the distraction or the time suck involved. If I didn’t ask for your email, I shouldn’t be forced to ask for your email to stop!
Connection Isn’t Permission!
It should come as no surprise that acceptance of your Facebook friend request doesn’t equal permission. Nor does my acceptance of your LinkedIn connection request.
Shockingly, that email I sent you three years ago? Also, not me actually giving you permission to add me to your mailing list.
If I want your email newsletter or your drip campaign to arrive in my inbox, I’ll visit your site and sign up. Professional email marketing apps and software make this rather easy. You can set up a sidebar widget or simple contact form and feature it prominently on your site.
Spammers, Seriously … Just Don’t!
This issue has been talked about in so many ways. Discussions have been had on Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin. Podcasts have hashed this out. It’s no secret that spammy sends are SO NOT social.
There’s simply no reason allowing for the continuation of mailing list moronics.
Misleading Marketing: Take It Out Of Your Article Titles!
arousing mild sexual excitement or interest; salacious.“she let slip titillating details about her clients”
While we have a tendency to equate the the word “cheap” with money and fees, it’s important to understand that it’s quite possible to cheapen a reputation and the perception of your expertise. While as business owners we certainly do trade dollars, we also trade on trust. To lose trust could soon lead to lost leads and income.
How can something as small as a title lead to the loss of trust? In so many ways!
Whether your target lead is a business owner, a social media manager or a customer service rep, there are some simple truths that apply to all:
- They’re all busy.
- They all are overrun with content.
- They want what they want, when they want it.
- They don’t like wasting time.
As these busy bees seek out content for sharing, learning or to help them collect their own leads, you have one chance with their trust. Do you hope to earn and maintain that trust? Of course you are. We know that people do business with other people and businesses that they know, like and trust.
Do you like to be lured in by false promises? Of course you don’t. Your title is the initial promise as to the value of the content that goes along with it. Your title prompts the clicks to read the article in full, peruse your email newsletter, check out your offer. If the title is misleading and you don’t deliver on the promise hinted at with that title, you’re going to disappoint and potentially anger your audience. An angry audience can soon turn to a dwindling audience.
While we all know that titles are meant to entice readers, there’s no room for trickery. It’s possible to create interest and even evoke emotion without deception. Or sex. AHA! You were wondering how I was going to tie in “titillating” and the definition above. Gotcha.
Sex might sell in certain industries and a sexy title might draw some clicks. But are you seeking an audience that finds you sexy or one that finds you smart and savvy enough to deal with and solve their business needs and pain points? I don’t know about you, but the latter is what I’m after.
While a carefully crafted article title can certainly assist in drawing more eyes to your stellar content, make sure your content matches the appeal of the title. If it doesn’t, you’re cheapening your content marketing value and the readers will remember, and might not return!
Ever been misled by an article title? How does it make you feel. Does it detract from your trust of a brand or business?