That's all I can say.
Sometimes, a piece of marketing stupidity comes across my radar that is:
a. Almost impossible to believe
b. Too dumb not to share with you as a cautionary tale
Here's an email I just got from a video producer whom I personally KNOW* (and who shall remain nameless to protect the moronic):
To: David Newman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 3:26 PM
The attached is something new for 2012 which should make it easier to understand all the kinds of services we provide here at [Video Company Name Changed]. Hope this makes it easier to recommend us to others in the future. Thanks and hope all is well with you!
Let's review what's wrong with this picture:
1. He sends a mass email to his database with the salutation "Hi there" even though this is a guy who knows me personally, has done business with several of my clients (not on my recommendation, you can be sure), and - if he had a clue as to how to work his email system - could at least have bothered to do the mass personalization required to make this note say "Hi <fname>" to call all his contacts by name.
2. I was not really having a hard time understanding "all the kinds of services we provide here at" his company. What I now DO have a REAL hard time understanding is why ANYONE would refer such a self-centered goofball to their clients and prospects.
3. "Hope this makes it easier to recommend us to others in the future." Again, I was not losing a lot of sleep over how challenging it was to recommend this guy. Solving THAT problem is a priority for HIM but not for ME (or YOU for that matter).
You know what would make it a lot easier for me to recommend this guy? If he actually provided me with some REAL VALUE. Some insights, tips, recommendations, resources, tools, and ideas to make ME more successful - not him.
4. "Thanks and hope all is well with you!" This totally inauthentic closing simply rubs salt into an already raw wound. Is this guy kidding? His whole tone, approach, and message is "ME ME ME ME" and he "hopes I'm doing OK" while fighting throat cancer, desperately scrambling to put my parents in a nursing home, and heroically trying to make ends meet in my struggling Jewish delicatessen in the middle of the Bronx. Yeah, right - I'm overcome with this idiot's genuine concern for me and my wellbeing.
The worst part of all this?
He's a phony. A fake. A fraud. And a taker. This is the worst kind of professional services provider there is. A snake in sheep's clothing. [Do snakes wear sheep's clothing? I dunno - this one sure does!!]
You know what would have been 1000 times better?
Give me some value. Give me some REASON to want to help you. Personalize your note. Or [God forbid] don't send me a mass email at all and reach out 1-on-1.
This guy has a paltry list so it's not like 1-on-1 outreach to his potential advocates, allies, friends, and referral sources would be so hard to do. FYI I don't fall into any of these categories for him (clearly!!)
You want to do better? Sure you do. So leverage your referral blurb. Create one, share it, use it in good health.
Please, please, please - don't give me more fuel for the "Jackass Marketing" column.
* Please note the video firm in question is NOT my video firm. In fact, if you want to get a kickass corporate video or do some video shooting or editing work, I strongly recommend Rob Kates of Professional Speaker Video. HE does a great job AND he knows how to conduct business like a professional, NOT like a goofball! (Speaking of goofballs, this post is worth reading as well about creating your own 9-point Goofball Prevention Screening tool.)
What do you think? Is this too harsh? Not harsh enough? How would you react to the note above? Please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS area below...
p.s. If you'd like some personalized help - and your very own customized social media scripts, email and phone outreach tools, a killer email signature file and more, check out the Small Biz Outreach Action Packs.