I have 22,000 unopened e-mails sitting in my Inbox and poor Marketing is to blame.
Every morning I follow the same routine.
I make a brew (English breakfast if you were wondering), open the laptop and wait for the overnight e-mails to come through. But today I noticed something I hadn't noticed before (below).
It hadn't happened over night, but in the top left hand corner of my web e-mail client, I saw that I had nearly 22,000 unopened e-mails in my account - I don't know 22,000 people.
Looking through, I noticed that the majority were from companies I knew, companies I had interacted with at some point previously. I had either e-mailed them with a query, requested a call back, downloaded a Case Study, ordered something from their website, been part of their association or such like.
It raised a question - why had I ignored 22,000 e-mails until now?
- I had been automatically added to a newsletter
- The newsletter was primarily hard-selling
- It wasn't personalised to me - the name, title, language, content was all generic
- I am part of a generation that is less brand loyal than ever before
As I slowly but surely unsubscribe from each communication, I offer some advice as a Marketer whose sole reason for existence is to help companies grow and build a great brand reputation:
Make it relevant
Think it through from the users perspective. In the world of B2B, they have a certain job, certain objectives, certain motivations. Granted all aren't going to be the same, but a little use of the old grey-matter will better endear them to your brand.
Make it informative
I hate to break it to you but we're not in 2000 any more. You probably can't see, but I'm no longer wearing the Nike Shox that I thought were the hight of fashion at the time (I know). As fashions have changed, so has human behaviour and preference. People now want to be informed. Leave hard-selling in 2000, where it belongs.
Make it personal
I don't expect the e-mail to ask me if I'd left the teabag in too long for my brew or to ask which kicks I have on today, but you have my name, you have my job title, hell, I'd bet you could even tell me the size of my trainers - use it (but don't be creepy).
Turn it off
Chances are, if you're reading this and I'm on your database, you will notice that I've not opened any of your e-mails in the last 6 months. Guess what - it's because I'm not interested in what you're sending. Stop e-mailing me. You're spending time and effort building and sending communications that I don't care much for. Save yourself and invest the time and effort in my prior 3 points.
As Marketers we are responsible for shaping the perception of our profession and we do so by our actions. If you want to be seen as adding value to your business rather than just turning the handle, you know what to do.
Now, time for another brew.