I do a lot of research when writing content for clients. Recently, I ran across a link that seemed it would be largely supportive of one of my blog assignments. It was a gated article, which is fine—I don’t mind filling out a form.
That is, until the form becomes a full-on job application. I quickly tired of the mounting required fields and abandoned ship. Surely I could find a similar resource elsewhere; one that didn’t ask me to submit what I’d eaten for lunch that day (seriously, it was almost that bad).
I’m not engaging. I’m not even opening the damn emails, but they continue to assault my inbox
Despite not finishing the form in its entirety, this entity had captured my email address and I started receiving marketing emails from them. Even though they had my email address, what they didn’t have was my name. Instead of addressing me as “Sylvia,” the emails opened with a simple “Member.”
I don’t know about you, but I take offense at being called a member.
An Inbox Assault
The member thing was their first mistake. The second was inundating my inbox with their emails. I currently get five or six per day. I haven’t yet unsubscribed, because their errors are the fodder for this blog and I wanted to see just how awful it got before I tap out. But, I have started to delete them without opening them and even that hasn’t slowed their roll on deployment.
I’m not engaging. I’m not even opening the damn emails, but they continue to assault my inbox.
Marketing is NOT the Same as Engaging
The rise of data is a double-edged sword. Having it is great, we can agree on that. It’s helped personalize email marketing—which is what consumer and B2B audiences are increasingly demanding. What we do with data can’t be willy-nilly. Just because the company that captured my email address had it in their possession, it doesn’t mean they should put it into an email marketing “machine” and completely ignore my preferences or engagement behavior. There’s a right and wrong way to employ marketing automation.
What we do with data can’t be willy-nilly
In this PRDaily.com article, author Daniela McVicker outlines seven signs your audience hates your engagement behavior. Number five in the list is exactly what this company is doing wrong: You’re using their [consumer] data for marketing instead of engaging.
“If you’re collecting customer data for marketing, that’s fine,” she says. “Just know that you could lose engagement and create some resentment if that’s all you’re doing. Instead, try using the data you gather to inform the content you create.”
Yes! Exactly, Daniela. Data can be a friend—one that brings more “friends” (aka target audience folks) into your circle. But, only if you nurture the relationships by digging into the data and understanding your audience’s needs and desires.
And, It Keeps on Going
The obliviousness of the member emails is almost appalling and, at this point, comical. One of the email subject lines was “Why personalization is critical to engaging audiences in a digital landscape.” The company should take a closer look at its own advice. Or, maybe they should subscribe to the White Space blog and learn the right way to email (wink).