A friend of mine had a short stint working for himself. 

He set up a business to help people generate more business in the creative industries.  Day one, he created and sent out a postal mailshot (yes it was that long ago) to dozens of companies suggesting they might use his services.  This mailer was very creative but, at least in one case, did not get the hoped-for reaction.

He got a call the next week from one of the recipients to tell him it was the worst direct mailshot he had ever received.  The caller thought he might like to know this.  My friend decided shortly afterwards that this career move was not for him.

Cold spam from China

I was reminded of the story this morning when I got a cold email out of the blue from a plastic injection moulding company in China.  This email, which was badly targeted, poorly written and utterly inappropriate (I have no plans to start a plastics moulding empire), started with a bold statement:

“Please kindly DO NOT reply to this email address!!!!”

This was before any of the email narrative.  It struck me that this might possibly be the worst cold email I have ever received, but surely this statement was the cherry on the icing on the cake. 


A new annoying habit

Recently my inbox has also become jammed with cold callers reminding me about the fact I have not responded to their previous cold call email.  Let’s be really generous and say that 10% of cold calling emails are ever opened.   Most are an annoyance.  I am therefore not really sure who thought that sending the same mail again, will elicit a better response?


Communication too important to be ignored

In the days of mass mailing tools, it is easy to use these for everything.  We often hear stories of how successful marketing emails are because they generated a one percent conversion rate.  This entirely forgets about the impact a mailer has on the 99 percent.  My team spend a lot of time crafting personalised and relevant emails to journalists to elicit positive responses.  The simpler thing to do would be to simply use Mail Chimp or similar to send the same message to everyone.  This might even achieve the same number of positive responses.  But I am certain it would also raise the heckles of a large constituent part of an important audience.

How you communicate is the essence of your brand.  And your brand is the fuel that will drive a business to future success.  Just because mass mailing is available, does not mean it is appropriate.