Aug 22, 2006

Technology professionals say email marketing is spam

This just in: techies don’t like marketing. Shocking, huh?

According to this BtoB article, a bunch of "Technology Professionals" were surveyed by CNet and MarketingSherpa, and they all said they didn’t like getting emails too often (does anybody enjoy getting emails "too often?"). I wonder if they got the survey via email. That woulda been funny.

Okay, turning off the smart ass now. We thought we’d post some tips on marketing to techies…

Tips for sending email marketing campaigns to techies

1. Don’t send too often.
If your list is composed of a lot of "Technology Professionals" (when did we stop calling them nerds?) you should know better than to send them email campaigns more than, say, twice a month.

2. Keep them "lite."
You should also consider keeping your emails "plain-text" (or at least make them look like plain-text) because a lot of geeks also think HTML email is the work of the devil. Take out the superfluous graphics and photos (unless the photos include: monkeys or spaceships).

3. Easy scan-a-bility.
Keep your content easy to scan. Bulletpoints are key. They get tons of emails, so they skim and scan.

4. Clear subject lines.
Mark, our own beloved uber-nerd, gets 5,000 pieces of spam a day. Spam filters? Ha. They barely scratch the surface. Nerds select huge blocks of emails in their inboxes and just click "delete." If they accidentally delete one legit email? Hey, that’s collateral damage. If it’s important, the person will call or write again. Want your email to survive? Take this tip from Mark: "Just make the main point of your email the subject line."  [Also see our subject line comparison study]

5. Don’t pretend to be friends
Techies know a lot about databases and automation. So don’t try to act like their friend, by starting off every email with "Dear FNAME." Mark says, "Merging my name doesn’t bother me, so long as I know they actually got it from me. But it’s so obviously fake when my name is spelled in ALL CAPS or all lower-case."

6. Don’t be a bandwidth hog.
There’s no better way to anger IT people than with big, bulky emails with ginormous graphics that take forever to download. Keep in mind the technology professional that you’re emailing is probably the same person managing their company’s email server. They don’t appreciate emails that slow things down. Be sure to optimize your images before sending HTML email. Quick guideline: photos should be saved as JPGs, and line art (simple logos and stuff) should be saved as GIFs. Stock art of people shaking hands should be deleted altogether.

7. Nothing to say? Don’t send (yet).
Finally, keep your emails incredibly useful (and funny, if possible). Guess that applies to all your recipients, not just nerds. Don’t feel like you have to send a campaign every single week or month. You can skip an issue, if you don’t have any content yet. Don’t rush something out the door, just to stay on schedule with your marketing calendar. If you can’t think of anything, include some research. Techies like whitepapers, research, facts, tips, how-tos, etc. You know, nerdy stuff. Or, walk down the hall and ask the office nerd to rant about something, so you can share it with "all our technology customers." They’ll have something to say for sure.