Classic Mistakes Of 2005
Please Attend, Please Attend, Please Attend, Please Attend. How annoying is it to receive multiple versions of the same e-mail? Several marketers fumbled this one in 2005. One such multiple was an invitation to our favorite Ad:Tech conference. It caused a stir on most industry watch lists when the speaker lists and past attendees were hit with successive messages. Wonder if that increased response?
If you think that's bad... How would you like to lose 15 to 20 percent of your list in a day? One dog food manufacturer inadvertently sent more than 10 mailings of the same message to its house list, resulting in a mass exodus and an expensive apology letter. Imagine giving FREE dog food to over a million customers. Nice loyalty program.
Take me off your list. I know of a marketer who mistakenly sent several campaigns to his suppression list, resulting in filtering and blocking among several ISPs. Oops. Do you think AOL or Yahoo forgave him? And how about the customers who now get order confirmations in their SPAM folders?
You've signed up, now attend our free seminar. But that message was empty. Does that mean the seminar is a no-go? Obviously no one was at home on this one, as a follow-up message didn't arrive until the day of the event (one week later), and no one ever apologized for the blank mailing. We don't have to wonder what the turn-out was.
Please join, but don't go to the landing page. How would you like to develop a great acquisition program only to find out (after you've launched it) that your landing page is not working? Server errors, bandwidth--whatever, this is the critical no-no in our world. It's happened to us all at some point, yet does beg the question, "How many chances will an online consumer give you these days?"
Did I have to reward you? Have you ever given a coupon to customers when they already have their money out to buy something? What type of behavior are you promoting when you send a free e-mail offer targeted at new customers and prospects as a last-chance offer, only to have it go to your most loyal, high-value customers who have been buying things from you in the past? This costs you on several levels. The initial transaction is now discounted by the coupon amount when it didn't need to be, plus you have now introduced premium clients to discounting. It will cost you more in the long run.
Spell-check 101. If all else fails, at least spell-check the e-mail. Imagine the brand manager's thoughts when he sees his brand misspelled in the From Line... or the marketing manager's face when she sees the company's well-thought-out, benefit-oriented subject line contains a word that is blatantly misspelled. Can you believe "Specal Offer" and "First Time Buyar"?
Speaking of annoying your team, what about the time an e-mail blast used the CEO's e-mail address in the Reply To line... while he was on vacation abroad? Several hundred Out of Office replies, bounces, unsubscribe requests and a smattering of other messages flooded into his BlackBerry.
Dear [LastName]. Every now and then a mistake ends up working better than the way you intended. Have you ever reversed the first name and last name when personalizing the Subject Line or Salutation? One marketer did, and paradoxically found out that 20 percent more people liked to be addressed by their last name first. Is this a new response-boosting tactic? Or did people just think this was their instructor or coach calling them out?
I could go on, but I might start mentioning some of my own team's mistakes. So, I'll leave you with this parting quote, as golf so often imitates life:
"Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former."