Ray Collis

All Marketing Is SPAM!

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Have you checked your spam folder recently?  No doubt it is full to the brim of Viagra ads, weight loss methods, casinos and such utterly worthless messages.  However, today’s definition of SPAM goes far beyond that of traditional junk mail to encompass most of today’s marketing.  That is to say most marketing is viewed by buyers as at best unhelpful, and at worse a nuisance.

Buyer Are Allergic To Marketing SPAM

We talk to buyers all the time and increasingly we find that their immunity to traditional vendor marketing is growing.  So, to is there ability to evade it.  The result is that our cold calls, email newsletters, direct mail and glossy marketing brochures are being rejected and repelled.  Just check the SPAM folders and waste bins of managers.

Now one could argue that the cost of sending a million emails may have fallen so low that a 1% response rate is sufficient and factors such as damage to the marketers brand, or unwarranted interruption to thousands of potential customers are rarely factored into the equation.  However, unsolicited junk mail is no longer a feature of any serious B2B marketer’s arsenal.  Targeted opt-in lists are carefully targeted direct marketing are the order of the day.

Just like the fertilisation of an egg, one one in a million sperm will get through.  Now the odds of your email newsletter being read may be higher than 1 in a million, but one thing for sure is they are diminshing daily.  So, how to get your message in front of your customers, while your competitor’s marketing goes straight into the bin.  How to make sure that your marketing is not mistaken for spam?

De-SPAM Your Marketing

Here are some tips on how to de-SPAM your marketing:
  1. Make your marketing permission based, ask for opt-in, or at least use prominent opt-outs
  2. Reduce the volume of contact and stick to your rules (it is very tempted to send off another emailshot)
  3. Send only useful information, for example case studies and whitepapers, not brochures
  4. Personalise and tailor the message to the audience, at least by segment, if not one by one
  5. Prune your lists and databases
  6. Improve your targeting profile, or criterion
  7. Treat the names on your list as contacts, not as leads (it is a small change in working, but a significant change in approach)
  8. Track response rates, click-throughs and all other relevant metrics to get more scientific at sending what people want to receive

Re-thinking SPAM

SPAM is insincere, un-selective, poorly targeted, adjective laden half effort at marketing.  It is where the marketer’s lack of sophistication in terms of targeting and the message, are counterbalanced by the customers increasingly sophisticated efforts are screening.  It is a failure of marketing to align and otherwise optimise the message, the medium and the audience.

Oh, and here is what the initials in SPAM really stand for:

S = self-serving, it also stands for un-Solicited
P = poorly targeted as opposed to clear profile, permission based and  personalised
A = adjective laden, as opposed to adds value
M = mass media, or wide of the mark

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