Five Ways To Make Sure No One EVER Subscribes To Your Email Newsletter

No one’s signing up for your email newsletter? Maybe you’re not doing it right. Here are the top five ways for you to beat customers over the head with your marketing message.

5. Give them a hard sell.
There’s nothing like receiving an email that screams, “BUY MY PRODUCT!” Forget about drawing them in with valuable content they will find useful and want to share.

4. Use bright colors and funky fonts
The brighter, the better. If Curiosity can’t see it from Mars, it’s not worth sending.

3. Spam your newsletter to every single person in your professional organization. (chamber of commerce, networking group, book club)
After all, you joined these groups to network, right? So that gives you permission to bombard them with your nifty newsletter about widgets. Never mind that most of them aren’t in the market for widgets. Those who are will surely love your unsolicited spam, and those who aren’t couldn’t possibly offer you anything useful, like qualified referrals.

2. Spam your newsletter to every single person… again.
They didn’t sign up the first time. Maybe they didn’t get the newsletter and would like another one? This one’s different… it says BUY MY PRODUCT NOW instead of BUY MY PRODUCT. Also, the colors are even brighter!

And the number one way to guarantee people will despise your email newsletter:

1. Subscribe people instead of inviting them.
Because everyone loves getting inundated with junk they didn’t ask for, particularly when it’s blatantly obvious you’re doing exactly what your professional organization told you not to do: mass-subscribing everyone from the Excel spreadsheet they provided. ¬†Inviting people and asking them to verify their subscription by replying to a confirmation email – waste of time! Yours, anyway.

This post is dedicated to the most recent company to add me to their list without my permission. They managed to make every single one of these mistakes, and they will never get an ounce of business from me.

If you don’t want potential customers to react the same way, have some respect for them and their inboxes. Email marketing is an exceptional way to build your business, but it can also be an exceptional way to stifle it.

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Your free email subscription to Tech Tips includes bonus tips, tricks and product reviews. Through January 31, 2010, new subscibers will also receive a special gift: my IT Business Continuity Checklist. Click here to subscribe or send email to techtips-request-at-guidryconsulting-dot-com, subject “subscribe”.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to assist with your computer needs. I hope to work with you in the new year!

Disappointing Computer Store Service

When’s the last time you had good service from a large-scale computer store or Internet provider? I’m beginning to wonder, because I’ve witnessed an increasing lack of quality from both.

There’s a particular reseller – I’ll call them Charlie’s Dynamite Wares – which used to be terrific. They stocked just about every part and had fantastic customer service. But slowly, the quality of service began to degrade. It started with a change in sales rep. My dynamite dude was promoted, and I ended up with some joe I’d never worked with before. The first few orders had tiny flaws, nothing major but not the usual top-notch service. But when minor errors became major hassles for my customers, I drew the line.

One client received three brand-new laptops, all with broken wireless out of the box. Another customer went through four print servers that wouldn’t work with his printer, despite our giving the sales rep the exact model. My own orders went wrong, too. I had to physically go to the store to look at one particular part to make sure it was correct – turns out it wasn’t, and I had to wait a half hour while they found the right one. Changing reps made no difference; the entire concept of customer service has been redefined.

So, too, with some Internet service providers. Sneaky fees, unreliable connections and nonexistent tech support equals unhappy customers. Worse, many people have no cost-effective alternatives for high-speed Internet.

Interestingly, it’s my home users and small businesses who are having the most trouble. The big companies, who pay extra for SLAs (service-level agreements), are still getting good service. It’s the little people left in the lurch, the ones who don’t have the cash for a dedicated rep or special support.

On the other hand, there’s my local mom-and-pop shop. The owners are friendly, knowledgeable, and quick to fix anything that goes awry. It doesn’t matter if the part I’m ordering is for a gigantic company or my neighbor’s grandma. Have these larger companies forgotten that all customers are worthy of quality service?