Garbage Marketing

I really think marketing can and should be much better.  So why isn’t it?  In this age of fantastic technology where we are prepping THREE astronaut-manned missions to MARS (yep), the vast majority of marketing is pure crap. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at some subject headlines from my inbox just today.

From: Your Sales Friends Allen Hyundai — Re: Labor Day Savings…The Season’s Best, Continue…. (It cuts off because someone in the digital marketing dept doesn’t understand e-mail truncation rules which are easily found and clearly stated.) That’s just lazy.  

What’s wrong with it?

  1. Assumes I care about Labor Day Savings.  Now I’m a customer and they know my lease isn’t up until May 2021.  So if you KNOW I’m not going to respond, WHY would you send this?  
  2. Not targeted — not talking about me or my problem.  So I’m out.  

From: Mashable Deals — The Cubii Pro desk elliptical is $100 off

What’s wrong with it?

  1. Assumes I know what that product is…or care in any way
  2. Already looking desperate to sell me with the reduced price offer on something you haven’t explained well

From: Home Point Financial — We heard you like saving money on home insurance

What’s wrong with it?

  1. Assumes I care about this (note: I don’t because it’s paid via my escrow account and I don’t think about it much) 
  2. It’s a tad creepy — like there are conversations about me happening at their company. We don’t have that level of a relationship so it makes me want to unsubscribe—and possibly launch a criminal investigation.  

And you have a TON of these — your inbox is FULL of them, your mailbox is stuffed with letters, postcards and flyers that go from that box into your trash can without a glance. You spend your entire life skipping over bad marketing.  

Here’s how you create an e-mail that MUST be opened and will rock their world — ready?

  1. Begin with the problem.  Try to hit a pain point your customer might have.  “5 Mistakes People Make With Their First Million Dollars” is good example.  You open a story loop by talking about a potential problem — and don’t mention price.  And keep it short to stay within all e-mail subject truncation rules. Sheesh.  
  2. Inside of that e-mail — flesh that story out like this. Identify the emotional or philosophical struggle, give a brief testimonial or success story that shows how YOU solve it, explain your offer (clear, concise) drop in your call to action. Keep it interesting and dare I say, fun?  I don’t read stuff that isn’t fun (not on purpose anyway). And that’s most people.  

Yes, the world is FILLED with bad marketing. Marketing that tries to sound impressive or hip or simply just wants to sell us something (and it’s FAR too obvious). We can be better. We should. We have the skills, we know what to do. We must stop settling for this garbage marketing and pretending that it’s actual marketing just because we “sent something out.” Here’s MY test of great marketing — was it valuable to me? Did it deepen my relationship with the brand or did it take that relationship to a negative place? 

Marketing is ALWAYS a double-edged sword. That share sword can cut through OR it can cut you. Choose wisely.