Don’t erode your brand via e-mail

In this age of marketing automation and e-mails triggered by events, we need to be wary of the danger of believing that frequency and immediacy of response is the goal.  

Indeed, poorly thought out e-mails can destroy your carefully developed brand and associated attributes.

The important thing to remember is that insightful, timely, thoughtful information is welcomed and begins relationships with prospects…anything else is SPAM.

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Case in point, I have been a Johnston & Murphy shoe fan for 30 years. Their shoes have always been made of the finest materials and hold up forever.  

Now what does this e-mail from their Minneapolis store thanking me for my recent purchase do for my relationship with their brand when the last time I bought shoes from this location was 7 years ago?

The calls-to-action are good and, if it had been a simple “We haven’t heard from you in a while� message, at least it would have done no harm instead of grinding on me and ending up as a prime example of insincerity.

1. Judge your content feverishly – Does the e-mail REALLY contain information that will be valued by and useful to the addressee? Do they really care about new staff additions, your latest sales award or tired phrases like “our main focus is our relationships�? If it doesn't add value, don’t add it.

2. Frequency does not always have a place – Marketing Automation gives you an excellent vehicle to accelerate your insincerity by spewing multiple e-mails that have very little substance. Don’t think that every monitored behavior warrants a response e-mail. If you do send an e-mail, insure that it has value and a call-to-action for them to further engage.

3. Match the information to the sales/engagement cycle – Not many folks offer up an engagement ring on a first date. Similarly, there are specific types of information that prospects want at certain stages of a complex sale or even before becoming engaged in a relationship with your organization.

Four Rules for E-mails

In any event, here are four rules by which to abide to not only avoid harming your brand via e-mail, but which can also work toward reinforcing your brand attributes:
4. Don’t do dumb things – This marketing automation consultant (name/company blocked out) systematically killed his chances to support me and wasted his PPC advertising spend via his automated sequence of e-mails that never answered my specific, carefully thought out e-mails to him. 

It culminated with the one to the right that said, 
“Hey – Contact.FirstName – “. 

Test, Test, Test before you send to insure that you don’t make mistakes that will telegraph that you are an amateur.

  • For a view of the full campaign that ruined his chances with TBG and to learn from the errors made,click here

  • To experience and learn about marketing automation campaigns click here

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Give me, Michael Byers, a call at 616-634-3498 or e-mail me at