Mind Your Marketing Manners

EtiquetteFoul language, aggressive sales people, dismissive behavior, men talking over women, cyber-bullys, and a world short on patience and respect for the other guy has replaced manners and decency; online and off.

Anyone reading this newsletter does not fall into the category of intentionally bad-mannered or disrespectful, but if you are missing some of the rules of the game of marketing, you might be seen that way. Marketing today is a game of relationship building vs. ABC, (always be selling.)

You are welcome to join me in a wee rant if you have experienced any of the following.

You subscribe for something, the thank you email is personalized, the voice of the sender is engaging. You are invited to “Hit reply and let me know X, Y, Z and I’ll get back to you. I read all of these emails.” You do, and you write a little note with a question or a comment, excited that you get to engage with this new-to-you brand. After all, so much of our communication with brands is one-way. But you never hear back, not even another autoresponder email is generated.

Or, you meet someone at a networking event where it is customary to share business cards. You are not interested in most of the businesses represented and don’t know enough about the majority of the people in the card exchange to know whether they need what you have. Rather than appear rude, you accept cards and give away yours. By the time you get home, your inbox is littered with unsolicited “Welcome to my list/ezine/newsletter” notifications. Don’t know about you, but this makes me crazy! And it is illegal. Most people already know this, but still think it’s okay to do. I was recently at an event where the host addressed this issue with the audience but sure as the sun will shine, I was put on a couple of lists.

Check out the parameters from the FTC if you are new to this idea.

Why comply? If your hosting receives enough spam complaints about you they will shut you down. Not to mention that it paints you as someone who is either a jerk or not an ethical marketer.

Along these lines is sending email out without an unsubscribe link at the bottom. How frustrating is it when we have to head over to a site we don’t want to be on, login with credentials we don’t remember, and then find a way to “manage our subscription.” Make it easy for people to opt-out. Why would you want someone to stick around when they don’t want to? If you don’t yet have an email service provider — you are never too small to start — there are some free services that are robust and will get you started. Here is a list of free services put together by Capterra. Until you bring on an automation tool, include a simple sentence at the end of the email that says “If you no longer wish to hear from us, hit reply and put Unsubscribe in the subject line.” If they do that, then take them off your list. The law says you have 30 days to comply, but why torture the person for that long?

In another scenario, you connect with someone on LinkedIn and one of two things happens: 1.) You send a note along with your confirmation asking what had them reach out, “how did our paths cross?”, like that and you hear nothing back. Or 2.) you connect and get an auto-responder welcome followed not long after by a pitch for some program or their services. People please, we live in the age of connection marketing — not push your shizzle at everyone and hope someone says Yes.

What bothers you in the new world of marketing online and off? Let’s take a stand for respect, listening, and connection. All of those things fall under an old fashioned idea: manners. Manners may seem old fashioned, but when you want to build lasting relationships they are as important now as ever.

Write a comment