My friend Steve Singer just emailed that Marketing Sherpa is quoting me on one of my favorite contrarian email tactics.
Act like a person, not a marketer.
Most people don’t send html emails full of images to their friends; it’s just not necessary. They already have a relationship with the recipient and something of value to say to them.
Sherpa quotes a story about one of the two most-used emails I ever sent. It was for a VP named Tom Sisto. Like a lot of executives, he wanted to get feedback from a set of high-value clients. In fact, the feedback would help him determine key elements of a new product launch.
We wrote a seven-sentence-long text email, completely in the first person. Tom told them what he was working on, and promised that their advice mattered to him. The email looked as though it had been sent from Outlook. It had none of the trappings of an email from a marketer, except a few links for CAN-SPAM compliance.
So why did we get five to six times our normal click-through rate?
Sure, it was a targeted list. But really, no matter how good the targeting, who wants to fill out a survey? In this case, the message was from a person who said they mattered — and who said “please.”
Some of them knew Tom, and some probably didn’t know him personally until that email. But they responded with their time and advice.
Isn’t time the earnest money of any relationship, online or in-person?
If you ever mass email, my advice is to think less like a marketer and more like a person. That’s what passes for remarkable in my in-box.