Today I received a GDPR email message from a LinkedIn connection – we are 1st degree connected. But because he’s in Europe, all his written electronic mass communications are now governed by GDPR – the European Union legislation General Data Protection Regulation.
The full email is reproduced below. Here is my analysis of why it’s such a nicely composed text. If you are in B2B marketing, I recommend taking a close look and deciding if this sort of annual review of your mailing list is appropriate.
Because we pay (mostly) for our email mass communications in a monthly fee calculated on the size of our mailing list, it’s worthwhile doing a “cull” to remove people who are either not reading your messages (since Gmail introduced the tabbed viewing this has increased for my list) or those who are no longer relevant to you or vice versa. It keeps your messaging tight and focused.
6 direct mail copywriting tips
The opener explains why – in large font. The subject line is “Why did we connect in the first place?” so I was intrigued to open it.
The addressee (me) is personalised.
The four points summarise Paul’s brand offering and gives me more reason to check out his current work.
Then he justifies continuing to mail me post-GDPR (not sure I buy this – but points for trying)
He gives permission to unsubscribe and suggests reasons why I should do this.
Lastly, in the footer he reminds me to update my LinkedIn contact preferences – a very nice touch
So here’s his article in which he explains what IDK means and here’s the list management options for future communications showing my selections.
I think this is clear and totally appropriate. Get in touch if you’d like me to review your mailing list strategies.
Email list marketing permission options
The Full Email Text
Rebecca, You are receiving this email because we are 1st. grade connected on LinkedIn.
“I did not have time to write a short note” sic. Mark Twain The words appeared in a letter [JRMT] 1871 June 15, Letter from Mark Twain to James Redpath, Elmira, New York
Was it because my profile caught you attention, or was it something in my Company page which appealed to you?
All good reasons and fine with me…, as these are my reasons too.
By connecting 1st grade you signed-in = pre GDPR opt-in – when accepting the connection request.
Your connection is as valuable to me as exchanging a business card containing all contact data during a life network event. A licence to contact… by phone, fax (I still remember), mobile phone (now WhatsApp), mail … This in order to set-up a business deal, meeting (now virtual) and social event… stay in contact.
And which is more, exchange or reach out for knowledge, an introduction, bring articles, whitepapers, books – all now with e- extension – which added to our success to each other’s attention and use. Shortcutting the learning curve, avoiding pitfalls, grow faster.
It is cumbersome to maintain contact with your network (it contains the verb …work) so here is how I do it: I am a giver – the golden rule in networking: give and not expect to be given – by sharing courtesy content, summits, introductions…. Proper GDPR set-up in place to safeguard and cherish our contact.
When your interest, position, business evolves, it is okay to: * Unsubscribe * or hit the * No longer interested *, * Unspecified * , * Other * (a reason appreciated) tab. No hard feelings!
But don’t throw * Did not sign up * back at me because you did – pre- GDPR – check your linked-in connection list.
It gets worse with * Inappropriate content *: how am I supposed to know things changed when you are not telling me, your once 1st linked-in chosen contact, what changed, what your interests are today… so Update your preference.
Having said this, I rest my case with respect for your decision and the consequence that our 1st connection will be discarded.
Best Personal Regards,
Paul Van den Brande
—We Never Forget You Have A Choice —
You are receiving this email because we connected on LinkedIn.
Our mailing address is:
Noble House Group
Max Hermanlei 74a
Add us to your address book
–We Never Forget You Have A Choice! —
Your GDPR safety requires you to update your preferences
GDPR Contact Paul Van den Brande – firstname.lastname@example.org
Your data will never be shared without prior information.
You can change your mind at any time using the unsubscribe from this list
No hard feelings!
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Marketing-Permissions.png4361190Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-10-02 09:28:052020-01-24 01:45:12A nicely written GDPR email
I am a fan of email auto responders that send a pre-determined email reply out from your address. They can be very helpful for new business development as an information tool for prospective customers.
As ever, there are good and bad examples of automatic emails. Here are four examples we have received recently that can show you the best and worst examples. Most are from marketing and sales agencies / organisations and so the bad examples make me cry with shame….. there’s so much to improve.
Let’s get to work.
Example 1 – Failure Message
We got this after trying to email J Walter Thompson in Houston, TX. Their website didn’t list the office contacts so we used a directory called MacRae’s Blue Book. This is what came back from our email:
Directory Listings fail message
A request for contact that failed.
Check and update all the free listings services that have your company and office.
Create a unique email address so you can track effectiveness e.g. email@example.com would have worked here.
Contact yourself through them as a mystery shopping exercise at least once a year, preferably 6 monthly
Where do email enquiries go? Which phone number do they list and who answers it?
Email effectiveness 4/10
Example 2 -Zero Information
Membership organisation NYAMA (New York American Marketing Association) whose membership-based services are surely the profit engine for the organisation. But hey, send them a membership enquiry on their auto form and one week later [hardly an automatic response] this comes in:
Thank you for submitting this form
“Thank you for submitting this form.” Great – send me what I already know I sent you
What happens next? No mention of next steps towards becoming a member
Timeliness – this reply came back 5 days after we completed the online form
Email effectiveness 2/10
Example 3 – Inbound Emails
When you send an enquiry in to a company’s ‘general’ email whether by form on the website or direct, what happens to that email?
Everyone knows that spammers and malcontents will be using it too – so what reassurance can you give people that their message has got through?
Great information auto-response
This one came from a retail marketing agency fronted by a TV celebrity.
They have good information about what to expect from the agency, the celebrity and where to get more information free / cheap and also training
But the email came from one general email address – they need to split the contact so people interested in the celebrity and people interested in the agency are directed to different places.
We wrote back to confirm our interest in the agency and received the same auto-response again. Irritating.
Example 4 – the perfect first reply
And finally, a look at a nice, short friendly reponse from a media agency.
Perfect auto response email
The message gives a real person’s name as a point of contact
Sets clear expectations about what the agency will do next
Sounds genuinely friendly
Copy this one.
Autoresponders are a good tool to kick off your online marketing.
Simple. How many emails do you write daily? How many blog posts? You only have to write an autoresponder once. It will then go to as many new recipients as activate the trigger. Forever. It will always go out in the same time format that you set up at the start. It’s easy. You don’t have to think about it. And all the while it keeps up a relationship with your readers. Voilà.
Connecting two compatible businesses with each other can be one of strongest networking tools for you and other businesses. By connecting the groups, not only are you solidifying your own network, but also helping the two businesses who may be able to benefit each other.
But often times this can be difficult over email.
In my networking group, we’re working hard to make it really EASY for members to introduce each other to new prospects and new clients.
I was asked by the group to help coach them in the best way to write an introduction that others could use. So let’s say you wanted to introduce my firm to another business. Here’s how you would do it.
Hi [their name],
I just wanted to connect you with Rebecca from Creative Agency Secrets. I know you were interested in increasing your business’s online presence, and I’m sure they’ll be able to help.
Creative Agency Secrets is an expert in marketing and promoting businesses using traditional and online methods. They work as the outsourced marketing team for busy businesses doing marketing that starts conversations and leads to sales.
I have seen their work for [name a client] and used them for my own business to write the copy on our website About Us page. And I’ve also recommended them several times and had great feedback especially about their careful attention to detail.
I will leave you two to connect – I’ve spoken to you both about each other and shared your emails and phone numbers below.
[both parties’ contact information]
The 5 elements of an effective email introduction
Introduce: explain why you sent the email
Start: with their one-liner…. who are they and what do they do
Build: with an example of their work for someone you both know, preferably. If you can’t say you have worked personally with them, a mutual acquaintance is a positive reinforcer.
Memorability: Add an anecdote that describes your experience – if you can make it funny, cute or WOW that’s best but not strictly necessary.
End: Include all the information they need to continue a dialogue without you….
We plan on creating a shared document for everyone so they can cut/paste the text into emails for business referrals for new business development.
The best introductions are when you’ve spoken personally to both parties. NOTE not emailed, spoken….
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Email.png17381920Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-06-27 09:35:132020-01-24 01:45:01How To Introduce A Business By Email
With many services out there for marketers, producing content and getting it to your audience has never been easier. However, not all services are trustworthy. We recently came to learn about TopBuzz, a platform that has divided opinions.
All started with an email…
A couple of weeks ago, we received an email out of the blue from TopBuzz, a content distribution platform, claiming to be ‘impressed’ by a video we did for a client. The email content was quite generic and seemed to be automated. TopBuzz said they were able to enlarge our video audience via their platform and we would be compensated for all the views we got.
A couple days ago, we received another email. This time, it was from a person claiming to be from this company, boasting about the number of active users and the number of views that all the videos get that are shared on their platform. She was very forward in her approach and encouraged us to become a ‘premium creator’.
Now, we did a little bit of research on these guys and it was scary to see what would have happened if we signed up with them.
TopBuzz key things we discovered:
According to past users of the platform, the communication from TopBuzz is poor and scarce if you ever try and contact them. If you have a problem with something, TopBuzz are unlikely to help and at best, you might receive template emails that are likely to be irrelevant.
This brings up the next problem. If you are unhappy with the platform…too bad. You can’t delete your account and your content will stay on TopBuzz’s platform forever.
However, it gets worse! TopBuzz can use any videos uploaded to their platform in whatever way they want. Say you work hard and make a viral video. If that video is on their platform, they can publish it as their own and you would get no credit. Unfortunately, most users only realised that this was their fate only after signing the contract without reading the small print in their T&Cs.
We were never interested in using this platform in the first place as the video we created for our client was content produced for a niche segment, it was an hour long and was a face to face interview. Targeting a mass audience and making revenue off views was not on the agenda, therefore, using this platform would have been unnecessary.
If you are producing viral videos, pursuing avenues through social media seems to be a safer option. For example, with Facebook, there are various pages that are dedicated to redistributing content according to different tastes.
Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of dodgy services like this so be sure to do your research before jumping in!
Here is how I would re-write the email in order to prevent others doing what I did. [Aside: surely I’m not the most stupid customer Kiwibank has…please, humour me!]
You have a Notice Saver bank account with Kiwibank. The interest payments for this account come from our PIE Unit Trust. The money you save in your account is invested in the fund and profits are paid back to you in the form of interest.
As an investor in this fund, we are obliged to share its recent financial performance with you. You can view an electronic copy of the financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2017 on our website via this link.
[insert rest of the statutory text here].
Lots of love, Mark Wilkshire, Kiwibank
Why is this clearer?
I think this text improves the context for receiving the message. It explains an investment I didn’t know I had and how the investment performance is relevant to my personal situation (bank interest).
Personally, I wouldn’t try to push out messages about other investments in this message. Make it simply about this one thing, and how to contact us.
The full truth about what I did on Kiwibank
And, I would anticipate possible confusion among customers by enabling self-help tools on the website to be advance programmed to have answers to questions relating to this investment.
My “Kiwibot” experience below reveals more about the lack of customer orientation and more about the regulatory communication box-ticking which probably sits behind this email misunderstanding.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-10-11 10:00:002017-10-11 17:21:59Kiwibank, this is how I'd re-write your email
Once you send an email, it’s impossible to recall it back. Once you send an email with a mistake, you can kiss your reputation goodbye.
In the case of MTV bringing their popular television show, MTV Unplugged, to New Zealand, their advertising strategy left a lot to be desired.
MTV vs. Millennials
Earlier this year, in June, when MTV announced that they were doing an Unplugged series in New Zealand, Millennials across the nation rejoiced.
For those that don’t know, MTV Unplugged is a television show which features artists performing stripped back versions of their hit songs. The show has been featuring artists since 1989, so you can imagine the excitement when MTV NZ announced this news on Facebook.
The artist they’d chosen to feature in the first ever episode of MTV Unplugged NZ was Maala, a singer-songwriter of electric-pop music. Tickets were free but limited. To enter, you had to submit your details and await an email.
In the excitement of winning tickets, it’s understandable that we could forgive the use of Times New Roman and just the overall lacklustre layout in this email sent en masse to all winners.
On closer inspection, there are a few more things wrong with this.
Email received 07th July, which is a Friday. Instructions are to RSVP by Monday 10th July to confirm tickets.
What is wrong with this? Firstly, for those that entered with their work emails, or don’t check emails on the weekend, it’s likely that this email would go unread by many until recipients were back into the work groove on Monday.
Secondly, three days can be considered a bit short notice to make plans.
Thirdly, Wednesday 12th August, 2017, doesn’t exist! It did in the year 2015, but unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option just yet.
Well, that’s embarrassing! We can either assume that this little big mistake missed the multiple rounds of test emails, or that the marketing team skipped testing completely. At least they finally realised that serif fonts weren’t the best way to convey their messages.
A few things to take note:
Not a good first impression about MTV NZ (or the teams behind it)!
They called the wrong date a “typo”, as though someone has misspelt “July”. Close enough.
Do you think they got the hint that a single weekend wasn’t enough to wait for RSVPs? Or perhaps people found they couldn’t make it on Wednesday, 12th August, 2015?
Either way, they extended the RSVP date until the morning before the event. They also jumped back on board the serif train and still haven’t learnt that the way to communicate with digital natives is either through gifs, cat videos, or really, anything with a picture and a splash of colour.
This is a prime example of what not to do
So, MTV Unplugged hit New Zealand’s shores with quite a splash, and probably not in the best way. They also sent me an email confirming my tickets three times. Did this mean I had two tickets or six? Very confusing.
All in all, it’s a great example of how badly a brand’s reputation can be hurt by a few simple rookie mistakes. The whole event felt rushed, and while it progressed somewhat smoothly on the day, we can all learn that emails are still very important!
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/apple-691323_640.jpg426640Creative Agency Secrets Teamhttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgCreative Agency Secrets Team2017-08-24 16:51:532019-04-23 14:27:57What not to do in an email campaign
I just started a curated newsletter about personal finance for millennials. Each issue includes 10 curated articles from various sources about investing, budgeting, paying off loans, and etc. I do not have any subscribers yet.
Well done – getting started.
Focus on Your Marketing Assets
Let’s help you work out the key answers you need: Start with answering these questions.
Do you have a website?
On your website how do you invite subscription?
Have you got social profiles?
On your social profiles, how do you invite subscriptions?
So you’ve guessed, you need to get people to visit a place on the web which you own (website / social profiles) and then invite them to join your newsletter. Consider what ‘offer’ you can make which is attractive to them in addition to getting the articles. Sumo.com has a good WordPress plugin for subscriptions. Also check out Push Notifications as many sites prefer this as subscribers won’t share their email address. I wrote this article about Notifications
Once you have started the newsletter and finding subscribers, you need to work on continuously improving your offer and the means for people to join it. Growth hacking is the process of improvement and measurement.
Is 10 articles too few / too may / just right?
What offer can you make to subscribers?
How are you monetising your newsletter?
Which brands can you collaborate with to grow your list with theirs in a joint venture arrangement?
What are your key metrics and ideal customer profile?
Now grow your profile
Get known by answering questions in public which relate to your issue (Financial services) and your audience (millennials). By showing off your knowledge and linking back to your website or social profile, you can encourage people to remember your brand and respond – starting discussions, which further allow you to show off your expertise.
Good places to start are Reddit and Quora search for questions on your topics of interest e.g. student loans. Also find niche financial services websites and discussion forums
And also use Google Alerts to search and email you links to places where your key words are being added to the internet
Bookmark websites where these show up regularly. Approach them and ask if you can write a guest article with a link-back to your website
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/How-to-Get-Subscribers-to-My-Email-Newsletter.jpg16602500Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-07-26 09:19:062017-07-25 16:08:34How to Get Subscribers to My Email Newsletter?
Consultants offer all types of services from HR placement to IT, but when compared to other businesses such as selling cars or real estate, marketing a consultancy is much harder to drum up new business. Most of the time, your potential clients are not even aware that they need your services.
You must, therefore, come up with a consistent approach to marketing if you want your business to get traction. Diligence and persistence pay off when selling services.
So, if you are new to this line of work and need clients, here are a few ideas on how to market your consulting services effectively.
1. Send Direct Mail
Direct mail is an effective marketing tool since it accurately targets the right audience. To get started, first make a list of prospective clients. Next, send them a brochure, flier, or sales letter detailing the services you offer.
However, remember to address each recipient by name both on the envelope and in the sales letter. By personalizing a sales message, you increase your chances of getting a favorable reception. In the letter, describe the benefits of your services before listing your contacts. Finally, include an attention grabber such as “limited time offer” on the envelope.
Also, make sure that you play up your area of expertise. If you have an online masters in communication management and you’re intending to become a communications consultant, make sure that your qualifications like the master in communications is front and center on any of your sales material, especially your blog.
2. Make Cold Calls
Simply put, cold calling is making calls to prospective clients who do not expect to hear from you. Although many people resent cold calls, they are still worth giving a shot, especially when you are starting out. So, expect a lot of rejections. For every prospect who says yes, hundreds may say no.
Traditional advertising, which is expensive, may be out of your reach when you first start out as a consultant. So, focus on advertising in trade magazines and journals as well as in consultant’s directories. Also, use another (mostly) free, and often overlooked, advertising tool – the Yellow Pages. Other local Marketing tips include free directory listings.
Once you install a business phone line, your business name and phone number are automatically listed in the book. You can opt to leave it at that, for, after all, it is free advertising, but to look more professional, consider paying for a larger ad. It also makes your business more conspicuous.
Newsletters are another effective way of drumming up new business. They work by presenting relevant information about your trade to prospective clients. In addition, they remind your former clients that you still exist.
A typical newsletter includes helpful tips, your opinions on a particular subject, and any news of importance to your work. Remember to include local marketing news and information – most of your early clients are likely to be in your city or region – so let them know what’s going on locally where you could meet them to say hi. Here are more local marketing tips which you can action immediately.
This is probably the easiest marketing tool at your disposal. After you complete an assignment, send clients a note to thank them for their business, and to ask for the names of associates who might be interested in your services.
Overall, a consultancy advisory business is unique because prospective clients rarely know that they need your help. To stand out in the marketplace, use as many marketing methods as possible and deliver them consistently every month.
We use our 8 Step New Business Development process and each has a category – this blog post is related to Step 4 – Profile Raising. Click the link to read more free advisory articles on how to raise the profile of your business.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/4-Profile.png562494Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-04-21 12:18:032020-01-24 01:44:56How to Market Your Consulting Services Effectively