I love getting random unsolicited emails from people selling me something. I have almost never bought what they sell and I almost always learn something from them. A few weeks back I got an email from a stranger offering me a “really awesome opportunity”. In a nut shell he wanted me to promote his companies e-book on my blog, and the best part of it is… his offer of nothing in return!
The original email was hilarious but I ignored it due to lack of time. His second email was a reminder of the first, and then the third email was there to check and see if maybe I had missed such an “awesome deal”. The following are real emails and real lesson learned. (Note: I have replaced real names with storybook characters except my own)
The First Email
And Happy Wednesday! I’m a young digital marketer, who’s always reading articles on marketing and design. I was looking at one on your site called, “My New Hustle” and really liked it. My favorite goal you listed is establishing a spirit of gratitude.
Because your site talks about marketing, I also wanted to reach out and get your opinion on a lead generation website guide my Director of Content Strategy, Tweedle Dee made. It serves as a blueprint for building an effective lead generation website since 80 percent of companies not meeting their revenue goals only attract 10,000 or less monthly website visitors. The guide covers the five design characteristics and techniques used for turning website visitors into prospects and customers, such as usability, mobile design, and SEO.
Feel free to take a look, **[Link]** And if you want to share it on your blog, I’d be more than happy to send you over the embed code along with a write-up by Tweedle Dee.
What do you think?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
LEAD CONTENT MARKETING SPECIALIST
The Second Email
Hope your enjoying your week. I had emailed you a few days ago about the possibility of sharing my Director Tweedle Dee’s lead generation website guide on your blog as a helpful guide for you readers. I wanted to confirm that you understood we of course wouldn’t charge you for the opportunity to feature the content on your site.
Feel free to email me at your earliest convenience to take advantage of the opportunity.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
LEAD CONTENT MARKETING SPECIALIST
The Third Email
And Happy Friday! They say third time’s the charm, so I thought I’d test my luck and reach out a final time to see if you had the chance to take a look at Tweedle Dee’s lead generation website guide? Below, is my original email. And if you need the link again, just let me know and I can send it right on over.
Thanks, Tweedle Dum
What was interesting was after the third email I realized that he legitimately, truly, honestly thought he was offering me something worth while! I was amazed that this level of hollow marketing was still a thing. Don’t we all know better at this point? Arn’t marketers smarter than this in 2017? Does he introduce himself at parties using this kind of cheap marketing sandwich type of mentality (introduction, observation, proposition)?
There are people that still do this because there are people that still fall for this. It is at it’s core, shallow, hollow, one sided business. Treating people like a stepping stone on their way to their version of success, only valuing what they can get from you and not what they can bring to people. Of course it’s all done under the guise of some kind of pathetic connection and friendly help. Let’s break down the tactic.
1. Introduce yourself in a way that will connect with your target
“I’m a young digital marketer”
oh me too, are we soul mates?
2. Show that you have taken an “actual interest in them” to reinforce that connection
“I was looking at one on your site called, “My New Hustle” and really liked it. My favorite goal you listed is establishing a spirit of gratitude.”
Somebody validates me, I really like this feeling
3. Create a bridge from them to you
“Because your site talks about marketing…”
My new friend has something on his mind, I am super interested!
4. Start selling slowly
“I also wanted to reach out and get your opinion on a lead generation website guide my Director of Content Strategy, Tweedle Dee made.”
He wants to know what I think? Neat-o!
5. Casually slide in the hard sell
Feel free to take a look, **[Link]** And if you want to share it on your blog, I’d be more than happy to send you over the embed code along with a write-up by Brad.
My friend needs a favor, what are friends for right?
In five steps this guy showed me that he didn’t care about me, wanted to use me, and had no interest in bringing me any actual value of any kind. He only cared about himself, his mission, his goal, his quota. Please forgive my sarcasm above, but it’s kind of ridicules isn’t it?
What I learned
On the personal side of things I’m not upset. He didn’t hurt my feelings, and it didn’t offend me one bit. His way of thinking is left over from generations where blanket tactics like this worked. Unfortunately the truth is that as time goes on this type of veneer is rubbing people the wrong way and genuine things are starting to make people actually respond.
A study by The Harris Group shows that [72% of millennials prioritize experience over material goods](http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html) . The type of experience they desire can be boiled down to beneficial relationship.
On the business side of things I totally understand if he wanted to advertise his material on my site and get more inbound links, but if your gonna skip giving me emotional connection and personal value then at least buy me a drink or offer me something tangible. Make me an offer I can’t refuse for darn sake. I don’t mind cold but make it cold hard cash :)
So what did I learn?
- something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable
- a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged
- relative worth, utility, or importance
Treat people like you want to be treated. I make things, I write things, I vlog things and even sell my services from time to time. I must remember that bringing people value consistently and in excellence will inevitably help me achieve my goals whether they be financial, personal, etc… trying to sell people first without offering them any value will inevitably give me and them an adverse reaction.
So what did I do in this situation? I emailed him back of course. I wanted to put my new found knowledge of value to good use and benefit him. Here is my response:
Hi Tweedle Dum,
I get that you looked at my blog post and made sure to include a few details from the content in your email. I also appreciate that your director Tweedle Dee made a website guide and you are looking for ways to market it more, But what type of value are you offering me? When you cold-call (email) someone out of the blue and ask if they would “want to share it on their blog” to generate more traffic for yourself… what response are you expecting? What offer are you making expecting I would jump at it?
I do appreciate your tenacity to email me multiple times asking for me to help you, with no real desire to partner with me, benefit me, utilize my skill set, or value the work I do… But I am not interested in any one sided partnerships at this time.
I do hope that you see that this response is not meant to be snippy, but to offer you value by helping you to improve your marketing skills. This culture we live in is reeling from a decade of facade, and therefore is so much more likely to respond to real relationship and not cheap marketing tactics. I think it could really help you and your business to understand this before sending out anymore emails. If you would like to know more about this topic feel free to visit http://jesseshowalter.com/contact and inquire about my consultation services where I could instruct you more on this topic and we could both benefit from a mutual partnership :)
Hope all the best,
I didn’t want to be a jerk as much as make him aware of his sin. I wanted to offer him something that would help him and in the end help everybody he comes in contact with. Maybe that lead generation guide is awesome, I’ll never know because I don’t walk down dark alleys and I don’t follow people that are trying to use me.
I hope this article was a help to you in some way. I hope what you walk away with is the encouragement to get what you desire in life through bringing value to other people's lives in everything you do, because the truth is money will burn, success will fade, but bringing people value and helping others is a forever kind of thing. Do it honestly, constantly, and do it because it’s just better.