Stop Blasting, Start Listening

I’m currently on my soap box against email blasts. Email marketing is a wildly important method of reaching out and communicating. Unfortunately, people abuse email and it starts with the term “blast.”

No one wants to be blasted at. When a bomb goes off, we all duck for cover.

Consider for a moment that you run a radio station, broadcasting at 50,000 watts. Any message that you wish goes out into the airwaves. You have full control over the contents of the message. It doesn’t matter whether people love it or hate it, your message is your message.

Howard Stern isn’t that funny by himself. What makes his show compelling is that his guests and callers argue with him and he listens, then responds. Stern doesn’t “blast” out his message; he invites the audience to be part of the dialog, that is, part of the show.

Everyone enjoys conversations, both as participants and as listeners. When you invite a response, interesting things happen.

So how can email marketing create conversation? Email marketing is part of the dialog around your products or services. No one is really interested in reading the same vanilla corporate mumbo jumbo. And we are rarely interested in “canned” content that you purchase from a third-party service. We are interested in the true voice of your company. Don’t just say you have great customer service, talk about how you define customer service. Let this voice be part of your email marketing, as well as your overall communications strategy.

One final point, you cannot force people to be part of the conversation. If you add people to an email marketing list without permission, you are spamming. Create messages, rather a two-way dialog that is worthy of our participation. Then invite people to tune in and be part of the show.

Go ahead and ask me a question, I’m listening.

Comments

  1. So how can email marketing create conversation? — I have no idea.
    It takes a lot to grab my attention. I need to be hit over the head with something uber creative.

    Email marketing does not make me respond or converse one single bit.

    Through my job, I get a lot of email marketing. Are the constant contact emails nice? Yes, at times.
    But, now there are just so many that I can’t help but speed through them and, ultimately, delete.

    In the morning, I have 50 new emails. 80% of them are email marketing.

    Email marketing feels like spam. What does spam feel like, you ask?
    Canned. Over-done.

    Or, impersonal and annoying, even if it says “Hey, Christine!” Just because I signed up for something, it doesn’t mean I want weekly coorespondance.

    Just because email is impersonal and free, it doesn’t give you the right to bombard me.

    D.E.L.E.T.E