As business owners, Ryan and I each receive dozens of emails per week trying to sell us the tool that promises to save us a few hours per day, generate $10,000’s per month or do something magical, like grow back our hair. No differently than you, there's a good chance that most email marketing pieces go immediately into the trash, or if you're in a good mood that day, it may get briefly scanned before being deleted. 

However, there was one email that Ryan and I both received (and oddly enough both decided to open) that definitely caught out eyes and stuck out to us (and hundreds of others). Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with a compelling design or the alledged benefits of the product. Here's the story...

An individual reached out to us selling marketing/digital services to 232 Creative. First, as a company that offers the same services as he’s trying to sell, we shouldn’t belong on that email list.  But, in a world of “Spray and Pray” email marketing, this simply happens from time to time.

The email started with, “Dear {Name}.”

So, it’s obvious there was a misstep/misconnection somewhere, because it should’ve read, “Dear Mike” or “Dear Ryan.” This looks unprofessional, but hey, if you’ve ever managed an email marketing program, you’ve no doubt experienced the crippling anxiety that sets in when it’s time to hit, “SEND.” Something like this is bound to happen at some point, but knowing that it will doesn’t make it any easier. We’re all humans (insert AI quip here).

Knowing the ways something like that could happen, it wasn’t even that which turned out heads…

The entire distribution list (hundreds of emails) was in the “CC” field.

Well, instead of humiliating this person in a public setting (a forum in which he ironically created for himself) like many of the other recipients of the email, we wanted to turn this into a learning experience for anyone who’s starting new email marketing programs.

So, in conclusion:
  1. Come to the realization that mistakes will happen. We’re human, and often times, people won’t even notice them or think they’re mistakes.
  2. Approach every communication as if it could be the one that moves the needle. Don’t become complacent and allow (bad) lazy mistakes to occur.
  3. Take an extra five minutes and send yourself a test email.
  4. Request a colleague review it with a fresh set of eyes before you send.
  5. Take one last deep breath before hitting “SEND”
  6. Hit “SEND” and walk away.

PS – I wanted to email back, “BDBR.” It was something my PR professor Randy Jesick would write on an assignment when a student submitted an assignment that wasn’t their best effort. It stood for “Bad Day at Black Rock,” a reference to a movie made in 1955. What does that mean? I never asked or looked into it, but I still use it to this day.  

For more marketing tips from 232 Creative, click here.


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