Marketer’s Impotence Syndrome

Sometimes you never know.

While cleaning the last remnants of unsolicited and undesirable e-mail from my inbox a few days ago, I had two interesting thoughts. First, spam can actually be good for something. And second, inspiration does indeed strike in uncanny places.

The thoughts started while deleting spam e-mail number 12,874. It was targeting the otherwise happy man who only needs a little help in the sack, offering him the solution in a little blue pill.

Are there really that many men who need that kind of help? Enough to deserve 90 percent of Internet traffic?

Doesn’t seem like spammers are taking any chances. To help men, spammers will find every single one of those guys. And gosh darn it, they will help them by offering an even lower price on these meds.

Sure, a few guys (maybe even a gal or two) will take them up on the offer. But compared to the number of e-mail messages they send out? What do you think the return might be? One in 100,000? One in a million?

Sounds a little impotent to me. It got me thinking about how impotent all our campaigns can be. Just because we aren’t promoting porn, credit report scores, or ED in e-mail blasts doesn’t mean we aren’t engaging in some of the same obnoxious behavior.

Consider your marketing campaign.

It’s like going into a bar (actually more like thousands of bars) and walking up to each girl sight unseen asking for a kiss until you find one willing to give you one.

Spamming is at an all-time high. While the conversion rate is horrible, spammers must be getting some sort of payoff or they wouldn’t bother. Businesses can’t afford to use these tactics and lose the trust and credibility needed to grow in a transparent market.

Elevate your campaign’s quality by avoiding some of the cheapo, spamalicious tactics spammers engage in. Many spammers focus on the perfect pickup line (e-mail subject line or even the top of the message content) that will get them past the bouncers (spam filters) and in the door.

Pickup lines are tired.

Some of the better marketers are focusing their efforts on the first date (the landing page), but like so many first dates, these marketers are only talking about one person the entire time, and it isn’t their date. These marketers are just “wewe-ing” all over themselves. It’s a bit of turn off.

Next, still not willing to take the blame for being bad conversationalists, these chumps resort to trying different designs, colors, and hero images. But the only thing that changes is the outfit; inside it’s still the same selfish page, with copy that drones on and on about the company, never stopping once to ask or acknowledge the visitor’s needs. These marketers feel justified because every once in awhile some bored date will give in and pull out a wallet. But there’s no love, no spark. Just another night in shopping purgatory.

Some marketers are so impotent that they think some pill, like a new technology, a new measuring tool, or a new campaign idea, will get the ladies to fall in love.


It’s much easier to get a lady’s phone number than to win her heart. But what companies are actually aiming for their customers’ hearts? How many are only aiming for the phone number — or worse? How many think it is intelligent business to build a company on one-night stands? Check out how many of the top converting retail Web sites have a strong focus at bringing back customers.

Making customers love you is hard work. You can’t fake it or manufacture it. You have to charm your customer, surprise her by giving more than she expected. Listen more than the other guys (your competitors). Make your conversations about her, not you. Before you know it, you’ll have a lot more visitors genuinely interested in your company. You won’t feel the need to get sleazy for your marketing to actually work.

Have you been guilty of spamming your way into bad relationships? Or have you found a nice formula for customer love?

Join us for a one-day Online Marketing Summit in a city near you from May 5, 2009, to July 1, 2009. Choose from one of 16 events designed to help interactive marketers do their jobs more effectively. All sessions are new this year and cover such topics as social media, e-mail marketing, search, and integrated marketing.

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