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Filtered, junked, and trashed: an Outlook tale

07/02/2009
Tale of Two Folders

Tale of Two Folders

Every day, I skim my Outlook Junk E-mail folder for mis-files, oddities, and lessons in marketing gone wrong or E-mail that is, indeed, junk.

This week, a piece turned up in my folder that demanded analysis, given the nature of the mailer and the source of the connection.

Hacking/Back-ending strategy

Hacking B2B E-mail strategy

Assuming you all know what an E-mail looks like, I’ll just go ahead and vett. No names mentioned! You’ll get the rest?

Great, let’s go and do an overall evaluation, an AIDA analysis and conclude with recommendations.

1. Evaluation: A spoiled potential relationship

The marketer did with E-mail what the previous  B2B generation would have done with direct mail, and prior to that with phone, and door-to-door, and so on and so forth. So while the media has evolved, the marketer hasn’t in this case — as shown by their methods, the message, or their goals. The point was telling.

Instead, here’s what I’d would have expected and might have considered.

  • Classic sales  — creating a new pipeline/funnel exclusive to their organization.
  • Web 2.0 — hooking up mid-stream within the larger funnel (i.e., the event that brought us together).

2. Analysis: How it happened

AIDA: the E-mailer’s proposition

  • Open and read E-mail
  • Open and read one or both attachments
  • Take action specified in either/both attachments and/or the E-mail
  • Remember the company name
  • Offer positive word of mouth
  • Become pre-disposed to additional communications

AIDA: my preferences and results

◊ Pre-disposed and committed to filtering.

Skim my Outlook junk E-mail folder daily:

  • To see if zealous filtering has sent the right mail to the wrong place
  • To see what’s gone wrong with a hack/back-end strategy as shown above
  • To learn lessons to keep my process strategic, creative, and focused.

Choose (or not) to:

  1. Indicate preferences regarding sender;
  2. Move to my inbox;
  3. Read immediately, or
  4. File for later reading;
  5. Trash and/or block

3. Net: My consumer engagement

Almost certainly, I am not the end-user or decision maker of the product/company mentioned in the E-mail.

Am I an influencer? Definitely.

Now, however, would I recommend the product? Probably not.

Is my impression of the individual or brand diminished? Yes, unfortunately.

  • Net/ Engagement:  My time went to disengaging myself from the marketing piece. From junk E-mail folder to trash. Rightfully so.
  • Net/Awareneness: My clean slate of non-awareness leapt beyond neutral to a negative impression in a nano-second.

Still, here are two great video refreshers to help carry the banner of  “Direct Rules” into a Web 2.0 world:

The Art of Subtle Selling (portfolio.com)

Social Media in Plain English (commoncraft.com video)

You’ll find these 3-5 minute videos on portfolio.com and YouTube. Separate blog posts are also included here and include the category “Video”

What’s your experience — which route have you chosen as a B2B marketer, and which do you prefer as a B2B consumer?

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