Please Just Put Down the Email For a Sec

I’m kind of obsessed with unsubscribing from emails lately.

Maybe it started with Baratunde Thurston’s Medium piece about doing a data detox. It got me thinking about how much marketing is made simply to get me and everyone else to part with our time and money...but kind of for nothing useful.

That's what gives marketers a bad name. And marketing consultants.

Is it true? Is all marketing really made simply to part you fro your time and money, without giving you something useful in return? Well, that's not how this ethical marketer rolls. So we'll have to leave it for another day.

Because whether that's even mostly true or not, what is true is this...

Too many people are doing marketing wrong.

Well, to be more precise and less click-baity, too many people are doing email and social media wrong. {Yes, I have said there is no “right” way to do marketing. But maybe there's still a wrong way.}

There are more than 10,000 emails in my GMail Promotions tab right now. And I clear that sucker out every few months!

@@Where do all these emails all come from? Why do some brands need to email me nearly every day?@@ 

Even if I heart your products and appreciate getting a discount code, when they come in nearly every day, they cease to be a motivator.

And don't even get me started on those high-pressure drip campaigns that land three emails a day in my inbox. I don't know who those are working for, but they only work to get an unsubscribe from me. 

So maybe step away from the rapid-fire email campaigns for a minute.

It’s like we all think we have to be at the top of everyone’s inbox all the time. And so none of us is. Ever.

@@What if we all stopped. Right now. Only email people on a reasonable frequency and for reasonable reasons. Really. What would happen.@@

Imagine this:

Instead of emailing new subscribers twice a day for five days with not-terribly-useful and very self-serving messages, you send them three emails over the course of five days. And each message has usefultimelyrelevant info they couldn't easily get somewhere else.

For instance: Are you a music school? Cool. Someone subscribes to your newsletter because they want to learn more about you before deciding you're the one to teach their precious child to be the next Jaco or Yo Yo Ma.

Do not, by all means, do not email those poor people every day for a week {or more} pushing them to set up a trial lesson or sign up now before space runs out.

Send them...

  1. The recent data on why music is so important to a child's development into a successful person...and how much it's been cut back in their school system {a little super smart personalization can go a long way}
  2. Useful advice about how to pick the right music teacher for your child...and how to know the difference between "I don't like my teacher" and "I don't like playing music." There is a difference.
  3.  A question to get to know them -- what are they looking for; how did they find you; what's their biggest question about music education...even consider an invitation to do a no-pressure phone call to ask whatever they want. 

@@The key is...Don't tell them to buy from you. Show them why they should.@@

no one really needs emails to keep up with anyone anymore anyway.

Does the idea of cutting back on the number of emails you're sending have you tensing up? Maybe we can all agree...we all hate email, and no one really needs email to keep with anyone anymore.

We have Feedly for websites and blogs. And Flipboard.

We have Pinterest for crafts we’ll never make and foods we’ll never eat and blogging secrets we’ll never try.

We have Facebook and Instagram for people we’d rather look at than the people who are in front of us in real life.

We don’t need email so much anymore.

If you had to stop using email for your marketing tomorrow, what would you do?

OK. No one's saying you have to 100% stop using email forever and ever. There is a place for it, when it's used sparingly and with your intended audience in mind.

But still. It's a worthwhile question to ask. Are you too dependent on the almighty email list?

Are you ignoring the social channels where your people are?

If they're on Facebook, you need to be there...and you could be really growing your audience with well-done Facebook ads, too. 

If they're on LinkedIn, then you need to be there. You need a company page -- not just your personal profile -- and you need to be posting to that place. Some paid tactics wouldn't hurt there, either.

There are ways to stay top-of-mind, and connect with new people, without adding to the clutter in their inbox.


hey. What do you hate about marketing? Tell me everything!

Tell me your dream marketing magic, tell me your nightmare-never-ever-again scenarios. Vent about the worst, gush about the best. 

Take five minutes to share what you've got in your brain.
You just might help change the way this stuff gets done....

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