Updated: Oct 13, 2022
I get annoyed when people reach out to me through my website contact form and try to sell me THEIR services, rather than ask me about mine. It's spammy and impersonal. And even though they claim to have looked at my website, I don't believe them. Half the time they make an offer that would make sense for my clients, but not necessarily for me. And that's what happened the other day. Someone came in and complimented me on my beautiful website (why thank you... but did you even look at it?!!!) and offered me their services. Now, it was a marketing tactic that I think is useful and cool for many. And I've been trying to be more and more friendly and reach out to people and make connections. So I thought, why not reach out to this person and see if we can connect and I can steer the conversation in the direction of me referring this provider to people who might have more of a direct use for the service. I hit reply, and reached out. The next day I got an email back. But it wasn't from the person who signed the email. It was from a manager who said, "You replied to an email blast (as if that was a mistake on my part!) But do you actually have clients who would do this?" I gotta say, that answer kind of ticked me off. And I shot off an email that (if I were playing D&D) would not allow me to pass my charisma check. He replied back asking if his email had been disrespectful. And I think it was. First of all, if you're sending out what you would call an "email blast" (I don't personally like to think of them as blasts, but whatever) don't REMIND the customer of that when they call you. Just treat them like someone who walks into your store. I had gotten the email from what appeared to be a single person. So when someone else answered, it shattered the illusion that they were giving me personal attention.
I've been talking about Dan Kennedy's Trust Based Marketing book. In chapter three he talks about the "9 Gates to Customer Commitment".
It's a list of nine things that customers look for, whether consciously or subconsciously. This email exchange made me say NO to the first two items. Authenticity ("Is this guy for real?") and believability ("Is he telling me the truth?"). That's because the person sending the email wasn't on the other line and they obviously lied about looking at my website (everyone lies about that... I'm over it). I wasn't able to evaluate the other items on the list, like are they competent, because the conversation didn't get that far. It's not his fault. But if you are sending out emails to people, I would recommend thinking something through ahead of time: When people push reply, who will get those emails? Is that person ready to interact with those customers and make the sale?