Wednesday, October 1, 2008

E-mail Marketing No-No's

This morning I turned on my computer, opened up email, looking for urgent or important messages that needed my attention then after started looking at the rest of the email that arrived in the past 9 hours.

One email got my attention because of the name of the sender, Steve Martin. Now I do not know Steve Martin, except for as a fan on his acting, writing, and comedy. This however was from a different Steve Martin.

Here's the email:

Hello S, I'm Steve W. Martin and I've participated in more than one hundred sales kickoffs as a keynote speaker, salesperson interview panel moderator, and win-loss analysis study presenter. Here’s a few of the companies I have worked with:

Applied Materials
Automotive Resources Intl
BEA Systems
Best Manufacturing
Eaton Vance Investments
Edgar Online
Global Healthcare Exchange
Heartland Payment Systems
LSI Logic
Nuance Communications
Riverbed Technology
Sungard Financial Systems
Tech Data
Triquint Semiconductors
USI Insurance
UTI Worldwide Logistics

My sales kickoff keynotes provide real-world sales strategies, proven tactics, and helpful advice with a healthy dose of humor. On my web site you will find keynote topics, video clips, and pricing information at Here are some customer comments:

"For a keynote speaker to impress a sales force composed of experienced professionals he must have credibility, in-depth knowledge of selling in the real-world, and an entertaining presentation style. Steve Martin hits the mark on all three of these requirements."
Steven Beekhuizen, Senior Vice President Commercial Sales, Dawn Food Products

“Steve’s participation at our sales conference was invaluable. He closed our meeting with an uplifting, motivational presentation. He interviewed our top salespeople in his Tales from the Field panel. And, he conducted several hands-on break-out sessions on advanced sales strategy, sales psychology, and customer communication.”Jim Brown, Vice President Strategic Sales, Wonderware Software

“Steve’s kickoff session provided the perfect mix of enterprise sales strategy, advanced sales psychology, and light-hearted humor. The Tales from the Field salesperson interview panel he conducted was a conference highlight.” Lisa Pope, Vice President Global Sales Strategy, QAD Software

"Steve Martin’s approach replaces the tired traditional sales methodologies that we have seen in one version or another in our career. He will motivate you with his provocative knowledge of the sales process. His style is personal, entertaining, and will dazzle your sales organization." Peter Riccio, Vice President Sales, SuccessFactors

Every sales kickoff attendee receives a copy of my critically acclaimed book Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom: Proven Sales Warfare Strategies, Secrets of Persuasion, and Common-Sense Tips for Success. Thanks for reviewing this e-mail and I respect your online time. If you have received this e-mail in error, please accept my apologies and respond with "leave" in the subject line.

Steve W. Martin

Mr. Martin sent this to an old email address that I have not used in about 3 years. As a matter of fact, it was an email address that I was using to screen some of the junk that I wanted to filter.

But, he accomplished the first step, he got me to open his email. The rest is worthless. Actually the rest is worse than worthless, it creats a negative impression.

First of all, all he talks about is himself. A brag list of who he has worked with. As I scan the list, I am mentally saying, "who cares?" I almost delete, but then I decide to use this as an example of how not to handle your email marketing, or any of your advertising.

Mr. Martin has no idea who I am, what my role is in my company, or any of the organizations that I have a position of influence with.

This is one step above spam, because his email program personalized the email, "Hello S," although I never refer to myself by my first initial.

Is it better to send 1000 emails blindly like Mr. Martin did, or 100 personalized, relevant emails that might result in developing business relationships?

Go for Quality over Quantity.

For the past few months, I have been involved with email marketing for our local advertising federation and have been applying basic relationship marketing principles and it is working.

Your thoughts, comments, and questions are always welcome.

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