The art of automated email campaigns

September 9 2019

Do you send automated emails so they sound personalised? If you want my opinion, don't do it. It's almost always inaccurate unless you have the most meticulous record-keeping skills and a seriously nerdy marketing person who doesn't ever slip up. And if you do keep perfect records, it is far better to write an individual email to the person you are trying to reach. Spend time being authentic and thinking about who you are trying to sell to - instead of blanket emailing everyone with the same message in a robotic, bland way.

This morning I have had 2 emails that purport to be personalised and written just for me. On both counts they didn't just fail, they actually annoyed me.

The first was from my accountants' new system that had already told me to send my information in so they can make a start on my year-end accounts. Today's email told me I had missed my allocated time in their scheduling and so I need to call and re-arrange it. Well, I'd like to know what information they need (yes, I need a reminder after 30 years, especially as half of it is online and half isn't) and I'd like to know that I had a time allocated instead of telling me off for missing it! How much better would it have been to have a brief email asking about my holiday, kids, dog (anything, they know me well enough) and listing what I need to supply and by which date. Even part of it could have a standard email, topped and tailed to make it about me and my business. Instead I have been told off by a faceless computer system first thing on a rainy Monday morning. Horrible.

The second one was from a charity that is closely aligned with a homeless support group I run. It thanked us (3% of the email) for our donation of 'soup and rolls' (incorrect) and proceeded to tell me about the good work they have been doing this year (97%). A better approach would have been to have an email to thank our group for our support and maybe ask how we can help each other, ask what plans we have in this area going forward, see how we can combine our efforts? We have a healthy relationship which I feel has been a little eroded by an inept, pointless email that actually devalues the many food donations we have made and the inroads we continue to make within our shared community.

The point of today's blog, the first in a long time, is to say that automated, ill thought out, blanket emails usually don't engage the reader and can have the opposite effect. They smack to me of being self-serving and don't have the recipient in mind.

If you are selling via email to a huge audience, that's fine, be blatant. Sell your socks off. Just don't try and make it sound sincere. We're too British for that!

The art of automated, personalised email campaigns? There isn't one!


This entry was posted on September 9, 2019

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