Dear John, Janet, James, Jack, Jane… Jesus! Is automated marketing killing your business?

automated marketing

 

So, picture this…It’s 9:16am, you’re sat with a nice mug of tea (not Earl Grey), possibly a biscuit…

You’ve just got into work with a horrendous commute in the rain, not good rain either, it’s that sideways rain which gets you soaked in seconds. You may have kerbed your wheel because Brenda in Accounts parked her car too close to the edge of your parking space. God, Brenda’s parking gets on your nerves. I swear she does it on purpose.

You’ve been on the lookout for a good service provider for the last couple of months, this could be a new agency to use for content, a new recruiter to find you that ‘dream team’ or a company which supplies a ‘newer’ version of the software you’ve already got, which occasionally works as advertised, but on the whole, is pretty crappy.

You need something – and it’s a service-led product.

As you’ve been in this situation before, you know that it’s only a matter of time before you’ll hear a recommendation or see a good blog, piece of collateral or email which will force you to ‘buy’, or at least contact the supplier.

Anyway… you’re wet, full of tea and covered in crumbs when your inbox pings, heralding what could be ‘that’ email… please let it be that golden email!!

 Hi there,

I hope you’re well.

I’m contacting you to offer you this amazing ‘thing’. Our thing is the best ‘thing’ because it’s faster and better than the ‘thing’ you’ve currently got. We can supply this ‘thing’ and we won’t be beaten on price.

Our ‘thing’ and our company is going to be the best for you. We’ve not spoken before but I’m sure this’ll be right for you.

We’re the UK’s leading suppliers of ‘things’ and you should buy from us because you need to make sure your customers are happy.

Can you let me know a time to meet at your office to discuss our new ‘things’?

Kind regards,

XXX

Now, I can guarantee you’ve had an email like this within the last week or so. If you haven’t,  my envy has no bounds. I wish I had your inbox. Tell me how you don’t receive these emails!

Admittedly, I love to open emails. In fact, it’s a bit of a problem for the guys who handle the IT side of the business for us.  ‘Virus city’. Even if the subject heading says something about paying money into a Ugandan bank account, I’m going to open it. I am arguably the easiest catch for ‘click bait’.

But upon opening some of these emails, I do wonder if anyone would ever take the sender up on the back of their spammy approach. There must be hordes of companies I don’t know about who will literally buy anything on the back of these emails. How do I know this? Because typically, if these emails are being sent then surely the company on the other end of the email is benefitting? Otherwise, why would we all get these emails?

This is something which is measured, or at least it should be being measured, preferably by people in marketing, not sales!

I’m not saying that people in marketing are ‘angels’, but I am saying that marketing people tend to have a better grasp of what that ‘hook’ should be or how it should be delivered. I’m not sure if it’s worth people in sales speaking to their company copywriters or content specialists to get their ‘take’ on the content being sent out to potential customers?! Or do businesses need to charge someone or a department with a longer-term overview of their company Brand with overseeing email communications?

For me, the icing on the very small and insignificant cake is that some of these emails come with a ‘read receipt’. I love clicking on the ‘read’ button when I’ve read possibly the worst email I’ve ever sampled – this should serve as a thank you for reminding me why I’d never use that company for that service.

The sheer courage and belief that these emails will get them that ‘big deal’ should be commended.

Commended, but probably not respected.

Recruitment agencies have got a terribly bad reputation for this type of communication. I know because I’ve heard it from so many of our exclusive and retained clients. I occasionally get sent ‘example emails’ of what’s been sent through. To be fair, the client has typically removed the name of the company and consultant getting in contact, but sometimes, and even though you know they’re trying to take some of your business, you’re just willing others in the industry to be doing a bit better when the first approach happens. Maybe recruiters wouldn’t all get such a bad name, huh?

Service-led products will always have bags of competitors, some good, some bad, but competitors all the same. Marketing your product in the right way is invaluable. That first impression, automated or not, should be a strong representation of your service or product.

The real growth areas we’ve seen in recent months within marketing recruitment has been in the services sectors, and I can understand why. The products aren’t sat there in front of the buyer to grab: they need to be taken out to the market to be sold.

We’ve filled a record number of roles in the software sector this year and it’s good to see that so much more investment is being made into automation marketing tactics. Specifically, investment into making automation more ‘tailored’.

In reality,  automated emails are always going to exist… so surely increasing the quality of the content through marketing investment is only a good thing!

Sometimes, you just wish that all sales people had ‘a bit of marketing in them’ – chances are, there’d be a hell of a lot more software, agency services and service-led products being sold.

P.S. Don’t now send me a load of emails through…knowing I’m going to open them.

I’m yet to get that investment money back from Gary from Uganda, and I’m buying some bollards for Brenda…

 

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