It has gotten to the point where buy-side players have resorted to working with email addresses that were created specifically to dodge dreaded vendor email solicitations. For example, a digital marketing exec at an automotive brand ditched the corporate nomenclature (email@example.com) for a combination of initials plus numbers (firstname.lastname@example.org. Has it really come to this?
I think we can all agree that there is significant value in automation. However, it becomes a curse when people start resorting to sneaky email formats to relieve inbox overload. It’s just too easy for a digital neophyte to blast a list of digital executives with soulless “we stack ‘em deep and sell ‘em cheap” messaging.
This is where I think the folks at LinkedIn might just be onto something with their “InMail” feature. A user is allowed 10, 25, or 50 outreach emails per month based on their subscription (we’ll leave the debate over whether the numbers or the platform itself are ideal, it’s the concept that is compelling).
If the industry (or a buyer-seller platform) were to inform each seller that they carried a limited number of prospecting emails per day, no doubt they would be much more judicious in outreach, making sure to highlight specific ways their media/tech adds value for a given brand or client (surely sales execs and automated email pundits have indigestion at the thought of this scenario, but let’s continue to weigh benefits).
Consider the inbox of agencies/advertisers for a moment. If they received fewer of those mindless, trolling-the-waters, cookie-cutter emails, then it would seem reasonable they could spend more time reviewing the intelligent “cold emails” as well as closer review of A+ proposals.
And suppose, instead of requesting countless proposals (some of which are given just to appease the seller hounds -- sad, but true!) and never indicating why sellers didn’t win the business, buyers are now required to provide constructive feedback to those who don’t make the cut.
This is a work in progress, but here’s a rough snapshot of a Web 4.0 buyer/seller communication platform:
Even if the above platform scenario is a stretch, inboxes are being flooded, and things will only get worse given the proliferation of ad tech, digital publishers, and automation tools in-market. Standards and some type of quality control would go a long way, mitigating self-medication on the sales side as well as the need for cloak-and-dagger email formats on the buy side.
Do you think?