What a great pitch, I thought. Who has enough clients? Guaranteed in writing! Thirty-two years in business. I immediately forwarded the message on to my vice president of sales, saying, "Now there's a pitch."
My VP, being smarter and wiser, immediately wrote back to me: "It would have been nice if he had left his phone number and company name."
D'oh! Right! I'm so enamored with the pitch I didn't realize the salesman had left out the two most important ingredients of any pitch: the name of the company and a way to get back in touch.
But the story gets better. Our intrepid salesman calls me again the next day, and this time I pick up the phone. He takes me to a Web site for a demo of the product--but not directly. I have to type in the domain name SLASH blah blah blah dot html. And what greets me is one of the saddest excuses for a Web site I've ever seen. No logo, no graphics: just a page with some cheesy text and a link to some "Testimonials"--unreadable photocopies of some testimonial letters from companies I've never heard of.
Out of curiosity, I backspace to the main domain while the salesman pitches on. What I find at the main domain is not a company logo, or description of the company, or even contact info for the company. Instead, I find a picture of a house for sale. Seems like a nice house. $209,000 and the taxes are only $2,839. Doesn't say where it is, though.
So you have to ask yourself: who is going to buy from this guy? There is no company name, no company Web site, just a really bad Web page which took, it seems, 20 seconds to put up. And these guys are going to get me leads?
As humorous as this all seemed to me, I had to admit that most of today's e-mail marketers are not much better. As we have reported, too many brands take the first step and make me an intriguing offer to sign up for their e-mail newsletter--they make the pitch--but then fail to follow up with a welcome letter or regular e-mail communication.
In many e-mail marketing efforts, the Can Spam address is obscured by using a P.O. Box instead of an actual company address. Legal, but like my friend above, am I really going to trust a company that uses a P.O. Box? As Charles Stiles, AOL's Postmaster, stated at the Email Insider Summit: If you act like a spammer, you'll get treated like a spammer.
As an industry, we have to stop giving a good pitch only to follow up with bupkus. Here's hoping we do better in 2007.