As businesses we would like to contact as many (targeted) prospects as possible, knowing the statistics that only a small percentage will end up as one of our new paying clients.
I'm highly in favour of email-marketing, as long as it is based on Permission Marketing, because it can be so cost-effective and automated. Our own business (retail wooden flooring) uses this method daily and with great results.
There are however companies who IMHO take email marketing a step too far (make that a whole mile!), and I think it'll do exactly the opposite of what they're trying to achieve.
Last week I received an email apparently from my sister-in-law in The Netherlands. Translated it goes like this:
Hi info (part of my email address before the @), xxxxxx (my sister-in-law's name without a space between first and surname) sends you this message to videomail together. Through the weblink below you can send your video-message to xxxxxxx. And then you will receive a video-message from xxxxx back as soon as possible.
When I checked out what this was all about I ended up the landing page: Welcome to invite.net (in Dutch uitnodigingen.net). There it states that as soon as I agree to the condition I can send my sister-in-law the promised free video-message.
The condition: At the same time all your MSM-contacts will receive a request to send you a video-message.
And absolutely no way around it, no opt-out box like "I don't want you to contact my contacts, I will send them an invite myself if and only if I think they would be interested in what I'm about to discover can be done with your program. At the moment I still have many doubts if it's really worthwhile to trouble them."
No wonder that email-marketing is still fighting to get rid of its bad (just spam) name! I gracefully declined the offer to send my sister-in-law a video-message; we have other, more practical and ethical ways to do so.
Wonder how many 'contacts' will take the trouble to have all their contacts spammed with a ridiculous promise.
If you, as business owner or marketing manager, want to start off on the right foot when exploring the possibilities of mass-targeting prospects - whatever good it will do - give at least an opt-out option. You might end up with a larger number of prospects.
A better way of course is to make sure you only target qualified leads instead of mass-targeting. The more qualified your target (i.e. already looking for a product or service you can supply), the more he/she will take you up on your offer. And then a whole worthwhile, honest, ethical relationship can start. No trickery needed.
Greetings from the 1 plus 1 makes 3 experts
Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)