Checked my Linked-In inbox today to see a message from someone in a group I have joined. It was quite clearly spam and I wondered what on earth had possibly entered this persons head to think "Wow, have I got a great product here that people are bound to want...I know, I'll write a generic message and send it out to all the group members".
Here's his blast:
I am contacting you as a fellow member of the IFA's group, to notify you of 2 products we are currently actively marketing in Australia.
We are providing stock loans and block sale transactions, using a panel of lenders and investors. Loans are non-recourse, and offered at competitive rates. For block sales, we can close transactions very quickly and reasonable discounts are achievable. We can work with stocks listed on most exchanges worldwide.
Please see www.******************.com for more information.
Alternatively, if you would prefer please contact me at ********@******************.co.uk with an enquiry, or for further information.
Now the internet and social media in particular has brought the world far closer together than anyone imagined it would. We can message people anywhere, with anything, conducting business in a way we would NEVER to in real life.
So I thought I might help educate him on how he might conduct his 'marketing' more successfully. My response went something like this:
Hi Simon, thanks for your email.
Based on the fact it was directed to "Dear Sirs" and I am not in fact a Sir, I expect that you are simply spamming people with your sales pitch.
I understand you have assumed an interest because we are part of the came LinkedIn group. Can I suggest a better approach might be first to build relationships and ask questions to first find out if I am in fact a Sir or not and if I am or am not likely to be interested in what you are offering.
To help you out here are some answers to the questions you should have asked me:
1) You can address me by my married status of MRS followed by My Full Name, however if we have met before and introduced ourselves, you could simply address me by my first name (I'm quite friendly you know)
2) I am not remotely interested in what you are 'actively marketing', however I am much more interested in what you could offer that might help me
3) I have no idea what the jargon terms you are using in your email actually mean. Because of this I am unlikely to connect with you, your services or the solutions you provide because I simply do not understand what you are saying.
4) I'm sorry but I won't be visiting your website or emailing you, mainly because of the above comments already mentioned which highlight how dreadfully lazy you really are, by sending out a message blast in the hope that you might 'hit' someone who cares.
Simon B, if that indeed is your real name, thanks again for the contact, I hope my reply has been helpful for you.
L Clemett (Mrs)
Spamming simply doesn't work.
So why do people continue to do it?
The number one reason I believe people spam is LAZINESS.
It is too easy to quickly type up something and blast it out into cyberspace. People get caught up in the excitement they have for their product or service and assume everyone else is as excited as they are and BOOM, they send off a blast.
It reminds me of traditional scattergun media, where you put on an advert in peak time for your audience and hoped it worked. Trouble is that scattergun marketing, even though it is still lazy, costs a bomb, where with the internet you can spam anyone, anytime for free.
But there is a cost...
- Do you think I am now more or less likely to want to form a relationship with Simon B?
- What do you think the chances are of us doing business together?
- What do you think my opinion of him is now?
Even if you are a brilliant copywriter, sales person or magical wordsmith, never, ever be tempted to spam.
The cost to your business and your reputation is just not worth it.
- Are you sick of getting spammed?
- What have you done to deal with it?
- What approach do you think is better?