Mar 28, 2006

“It’s a bit like farting in the conference room”

That’s a quote from MarketingSherpa’s latest weekly newsletter. It’s the best way I’ve ever heard someone describe the futility of blasting out email campaigns to a list of "prospects," who haven’t given you their permission to email them. Farting in the conference room will indeed get you some attention (and I can vouch for that) but is it the kind of attention you want? Trust me, the answer is no.

So you’ve got a list of prospects. Maybe they’re old customers. Maybe they’re leads that you collected at a tradeshow. Maybe they’re people who downloaded a whitepaper from your website. Now what? It’s tempting to just start sending them emails, right? Email marketing is so cheap, right? But you need to get their permission first. That sounds like a hassle, but it’s a great way to 1) filter out the people who don’t want to hear from you, and 2) qualify the people who really, really want to hear from you. MarketingSherpa has a great case study on how one company does this:

Three Reasons Business Email Addresses Alone are Worthless