Hey, Marketers: 1 email doesn’t mean I want a relationship with you

Spam is like the telemarketing call of 2022.

Back in the day when people used phones to actually speak to each other, it was often a thrill when you heard ringing. Before the days of caller ID there was a sense of excitement when you wondered, “Ohhhhh, who’s calling?!?!” Anger set in when you realized it was a telemarketing call and you got up and ran to the phone for nothing.

Thanks to actual phone calls being on the way out, organizations have now implemented harassment emailing to get your attention. You know what I’m talking about.

Maybe you had to provide your email address when you signed up for a service. Maybe you needed to give contact info for access to an app. And I bet you quickly regretted making that information available.

You see, marketers have jumped on this whole email thing. They even have workflows for how to harass… er, contact you. You sign up on day 1, get a reminder email on day 3 if you haven’t taken action on your initial email, a week later you get another message asking if you still love them. They try to be playful but it’s annoying as hell.

I’ve even resorted to a decoy email address that I use solely for the purpose of sign-ups or mandatory contact info forms. I have a few “spam@____.com” email addresses just so I’m not overwhelmed by places I’ve had contact with one time.

It’s true, just because I asked for a quote on carpet cleaning, or a new door or inquired about your new product, doesn’t mean I want a clingy long-term relationship with you.

Think about it: If you had just met someone and swapped phone numbers and they started blasting you with texts, you’re probably going to want to distance yourself from their stalker-ish tendencies.

It’s no different for marketing. Despite what social media or marketing experts say, it actually doesn’t work in your favour with me. It works against you — big time. I will remember your company’s name and file it away in the “harassment” section of my brain. I will remember you for all the wrong reasons.

I did reach out to a company for a quote on carpet cleaning. (I will spare them the shame of blasting their name on here — and giving them free advertising.) I requested a quote on a Sunday evening. By late Monday morning I got another email asking if I received the quote. And then in the afternoon I got an unsolicited email from them with three tips for carpet maintenance.

Three emails in less than 24 hours. Aggressive? Yes. Necessary? No. Desperate? Hell yeah.

In the end I didn’t want to go with their service so I replied with a “thanks, but I’ll pass” email and then — boom — got another email almost right away. This time the subject line was, “Sorry, we couldn’t make things work.”

I asked for one bit of information and in less than a day felt like I was already getting sucked into a clingy relationship. Some people might appreciate those kinds of messages. For me, I know that they are generally automated and triggered by my actions so I’m not offending someone if I don’t reply.

If you want to do business, let me come to you. Throwing yourself at me doesn’t make me want to give you my attention.

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