There is a huge difference between e-mail marketing and spam, but some people just don’t seem to get it.
I rarely pick on just one company, when so many have absolutely no idea how to market themselves via e-mail. But I’ll make an exception here, as this one particular company has been especially bad as of late.
The company in question is called SourceLists Inc., who lists their web address as http://sourcelists.moonfruit.com. Moonfruit.com is a web design company. I’m assuming SourceLists is associated with them somehow.
In the past month, our sales team has received AT LEAST FOURTEEN variations of the following e-mail:
We are a leading Business Database provider, we provide you prepackaged lists of any Industry according to your requirement that enable you to reach thousands of qualified prospects via Verified Email, Phone & Direct mail.
Please send me your target audience (Industry/titles/geographical area), so that I can send you FEW sample records, which will be at no cost.
Information Technology : IBM Users, Sage Users, SAP Users, Oracle Users, Salesforce Users, CRM, ERP, Networking, Computer Hardware, Software, and IT Resellers (Value Added Resellers), List Brokers etc,
Top Level Executives List comprised of all Titles:- CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, COOs, CIOs,VP’s, Presidents, Chairman’s, GMs, Mid level Managers, Sales and Marketing Managers, HR Managers, IT Managers, Sales & Marketing Executives, Facility Manager, Publishers etc
Free Match Test : Just send us now 25 to 50 contacts in an excel sheet from your in-house database with missing email address, telephone numbers, fax numbers or mailing addresses, we can append it for you at no cost, this will help you check the quality of our services.
Best way to reach me via EMAIL.
1024 Iron Point Road
Folsom, California 95630
Tel: 800 305 1062
It’s quite dreadful, isn’t it?
Whether you are still just thinking about doing some e-mail marketing — or if you have done it a few times — the above e-mail is a great example of how to screw it up.
1.) If you’re going to reach out to a company with whom you’d like to do business, at least take the time to find out who the correct contact person is. They sent it to our entire sales team. Sending a mass e-mail to a group will do nothing but irritate the group and end up in the deleted items folder. It is not difficult to find out who runs marketing for a particular company. If you can’t find the info online, CALL THEM.
2.) It is absolutely critical that the first sentence grabs the reader’s attention. Their first paragraph is a horribly long, run-on sentence. Thirty-five words is usually going to be a bit much. What part of this first sentence grabs me? None of it. Delete.
There is a major difference between an effective, helpful mass e-mail and spam. As we all know, spamming will do nothing but hurt your company’s reputation. Don’t do it.
3.) Don’t send the same basic message out to the same people more than once a month. Even that much is pushing it. You may have a weekly newsletter or up-to-date announcements — I’m not talking about that. They basically reworded the exact same e-mail with the exact same message and sent it to us 14 times in one month.
4.) Make a subject line that stands out. In this case, they used the subject lines: “Email lists”, “Marketing Databases”, “Marketing lists” and a few other variations upon that theme. ARE THEY EVEN TRYING? You know what those subject lines scream at me? THIS IS SPAM. Something like “Are you sick of Hoovers yet?” or “Are you tired of chasing dead leads?” would have at least made me think twice before hitting the delete key.
5.) Have an unsubscribe option. These people obviously do not have that or I might have unsubscribed 10 emails ago before I got really pissed and wrote this article.
6.) Make sure your “reply to” address matches the domain of the business you claim to be representing. In the 14 spams we received, there were 7 different reply-to domains. Ones like aol.com, data-cleansed.com, globalbiz.info, americanbusiness.biz… You get the idea. Nothing screams spam like a generic or mismatched reply-to domain.
I could keep going, but I don’t want to take up your entire day. I didn’t even mention the content because, frankly, that could be an article in itself. I will state the obvious: the content in the above e-mail is lame. Nothing about it stands out or engages me.
Hopefully we can all learn from the mistakes SourceLists has made. There is a major difference between an effective, helpful mass e-mail and spam. As we all know, spamming will do nothing but hurt your company’s reputation. Don’t do it.