A couple of weeks ago, a reader contacted me about an email marketing concern. As part of launching a new service area, he plans to use email marketing to promote the new feature. Ideally this promotion will include messages to the people whose names are on recently acquired email list. The issue of concern is how to email these people without spamming them.
Never having considered that specific issue before, I researched the question and found some very helpful suggestions. Among the most helpful was a Hubspot blog post: 14 Signs Your Sales Email Is Actually Spam.
This post identifies the challenge faced by those of us who want to include email marketing in our plans…but don’t want to spam potential clients.
“Sales emails, when written well and sent to the right people, can be incredibly effective tools to generate new customers. But when they’re written poorly and devoid of value, nothing prompts recipients to flag a message as spam faster.
“Sending valuable, customized, personalized sales emails is a legitimate sales tactic. Blasting out spam is not. So how can you tell if a cold sales email actually spam?”
Here is my take on the difference between warm outreach and outright spam.
Warm Outreach Is Thoughtful
This thoughtfulness starts with carefully planning the email, from concept to follow-up. This planning includes addressing such questions as:
- why are you sending the email? What do you want recipients to do after they have read your message? What value will recipients enjoy as a result of taking the action you want them to? Can the recipients enjoy the value immediately or is some other action necessary?
- to whom are you sending the email? Are these people potentially ideal clients or just names on a list?
- Can you really achieve the results you want with email marketing? Why? Is there another marketing strategy that might work better?
Outright Spam Is Thoughtless
More often than not, spam is the result of a thoughtless and mindless rush to hit the send button on an email program. Typical spam messages include the following features. Obviously the more of these features that an email contains, the more likely it will be dismissed as spam.
- misleading or overly hyped subject line;
- no personalization (first name of recipient) or customization (name of organization, if applicable);
- a sales pitch or direct ask, without offering anything of value;
- all about the sender, ignoring the recipients’ needs and wants;
- typos, spelling and grammatical errors;
- spammy words and effects;
- sloppily copied and pasted content.
Truth be told, I welcome warm outreach.
If someone has a product or service that will simplify my life and help me achieve my goals, I want to know about it.
On the other hand, just because someone has my email address, it does not automatically mean that I am interested in what they are selling.
I love my spam filter as much as most of us hate spam.