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Email Marketing And A Focused Conversation

Feb 26, 2008
You have an interview scheduled. This means so much to you because you have been without a job for too long. You have a family and whatever money you had saved for emergencies like this is almost at an end.

On the morning of the interview you ready yourself and dress in your best clothes. You sit in the waiting room and pretend to read a magazine while you hope you don't sweat too much. You pretend to be mildly interrupted when your name is called. You lay the magazine down and will forget what magazine it was.

The person interviewing you has your resume sitting front of them. They invite you to have a seat while they continue to pour over the contents of your file. You feel like screaming, but you manage to hold the stress in as you hear the steady tick of the clock.

"So," the interviewer begins, "what can you bring to this position that would qualify you more than any other candidate?"

"Well, I like football and playing video games with my kids," you begin. The interviewer looks confused, but you hurry on, "On Saturdays I like to wash my car, except of course when it rains, which of course it always does in April."

"But we're here to talk about the possibility of you working for our firm. Why should we hire you?" the interviewer redirects the question.

"I hate vegetables and my favorite color is blue," you say with a smile. "Is there anything else you need to know?"

I hope you found this illustration disturbingly strange. It makes no sense for a person who really needs a job to go into the interview and talk about anything other than what the interviewer wants to know. That potential hire will do their best to address every question and answer every concern. Why? They want a job and their words mean something.

Since this is true why do so many email-marketing campaigns follow the same course as our hypothetical interviewee?

Many email marketing campaigns are disjointed and off target. I think sometimes the originator of the message is hoping to develop friendships with potential customers by telling jokes or expressing personal opinions about issues that have little to no relevance to the product they are pitching.

We should take a cue from quality interview preperation techniques.

1) Value other people. No one has to read your email marketing pitch so keep it simple.

2) Stay on target. You are using the email to market a product or business. Don't stray from that objective.

3) Know who's in control. The email recipient can easily hit the delete key so work to impress them with the clarity of message and quality of product.

4) Invite feedback. Allow the potential customer to let you know what they think. This may not always be positive, but it does convey that you are interested in a two-sided conversation.

Email marketing can be an effective tool that has the potential of making your product appealing to potential customers - as long as you stay on target.
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