I get a remarkable number of pitches from sales people associated with online marketing companies and in almost all the cases, the only information I have to go on is the message itself. Is it well written? Does it suggest that they have even half a clue about what my business is about? Do they list any recognizable brands or clients? Heck, is it grammatically correct and are all the words spelled properly?
And then there are odd messages that end up just demonstrating how not to do online marketing, like this one:
Here’s what I find most intriguing about this message: Zach, the ostensible sender, assures me that the company is professional and trustworthy but Zach has the email address “Richie Chen”, and the contact email at the bottom is “maymay01”.
That’s a fail.
It’s possible that Richie goes by “Zach”, I suppose, but that’s an incongruity when there should be a personal touch and everything should be logical and build confidence, not confusion. And “May May 01”? That wouldn’t be an overly surprising name, May May, but “01”?
It turns out that a quick Google search of the company name reveals that it is indeed Chinese:
I suppose that it can be “in Southern California” as the email promises, but my confidence level that this firm is being completely transparent is very low at this point. My expectation that the team will really understand the nuances of the US marketplace keeps diminishing.
A click to get to the home page and it’s now impossible to believe that this company is a So Cal based marketing agency as its email promises:
Now being written in Chinese doesn’t mean that the company’s based in China any more than Spanish would mean that the company was based in Mexico or Spain, but unless the company’s goal is to market only to Chinese speakers, its promise of being based in California is completely at odds with the home page.
The end result? It’s earmarked as spam and I’ll never see another pitch from “Zach” again.
Lessons and Thoughts
I don’t mean to pick on this company because for all I know it might be a great firm with a solid team, but this failed email marketing campaign proves to be such a great example of something that every parent knows: what you say must be in sync with what you do. Turns out that’s a truism of marketing too, that if you can’t market your own business, don’t expect me to believe that you can market mine. Even if you tell me that you’re “professional” and “trustworthy”.
So take a moment, look at your own marketing efforts and ask the question I’m asking here: Are you demonstrating that you’re good at marketing, can target customers and offer up a pitch they find interesting, and that you have savvy designers, top-notch copywriters, and a great customer management staff? Or are you just telling potential customers that while demonstrating something quite a bit less effective?
This isn’t the cobbler’s proverbial barefoot kids. If you can’t market your own business, don’t expect to ever get the chance to market mine.
Psst: This is true for SEO companies too. If you can’t get to the top of Google’s results for your market segment, your credibility ends up being really low, and “we’re in stealth mode” isn’t a good response.