Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Why Round Robins Should Go the Way of the Dodo

24 hours into my new life as a tidy, teetotal, organised, working mother supremo, I feel smug enough to make a dig at those that aren’t, quite frankly, as brilliant as me.

Let me, therefore, draw your attention to a number of emails I have received in recent days. Emails remember.

The first was from a market leading telesales company specialising in lead generation for creative industries asking me to consider using their services this year; another from a training company wanting to sell me courses in “communication skills” and the third, and arguably best, from a telesales / unnamed lead generation company I actually used once upon a time. In said email, they made no reference to our former working relationship and even began the email, “Dear Jane Ainsworth”. No one has referred to me by my full name since the days of the school register, and I was Jane Flower then anyway.

So, is this (in my view) over reliance of email down to incompetence or laziness? Laziness – surely. With the click of a button you can flog your business to a thousand contacts. You don’t have to pick up the phone once so no one can be rude to you and make you feel all sad, rejected unloved and lonely.

Now, I love emails more than most. My husband is lost for words when I quickly check the iPhone when one (or both) of the children wake us at 2am. But “round robins” and “mail merges” have me reaching for the bin icon quicker than a three year old can unwrap a present at Christmas.

At a seminar I attended recently, the trainer asked how many people intended to increase their e-marketing efforts in 2010. Everyone put their hands up. God help us all.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want my phone ringing off the hook either – but I do think it’s about time that certain businesses realised there is more to e-marketing than whacking out a mass email. Like there is more to digital marketing than just being on Facebook. You have to make an effort when you get there.

Nothing new here. We’ve been tailoring press releases to suit the media for which they are intended since the dawn of time. And we don’t do mass emails to journalists. That would be rude.

So, you mass emailers (and you know who you are), if you want me to part with my profits to increase yours – invest 59 seconds into typing my proper name and a nice note to make me feel special. If I can send my children to school with newly polished shoes every morning, cross off everything on my things to do list by lunch time, complete timesheets before 1700, cook fresh food for the family every evening and do 30 minutes of exercise every night – it is surely the very least you can do for me?


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