The Hand Talks

The danger of mass cold emails

by The Hand

If I had a pound for every time someone mentioned the idea of ‘automated marketing’ and ‘en-mass’ emailing to drive new business leads for their agency, I’d be a multimillionaire…

In fact, I am both over-joyed and saddened when I personally receive multiple poorly researched and thought-out emails and LinkedIn mails a day… Over-joyed because it confirms that 99% of sales outreach I receive is total rubbish (literally they go straight into my trash can), compared to our own approach at The Hand, which is researched well, bespoke and targeted. But then I feel saddened because with just a bit more research, preparation and targeted messaging, the results need not be ‘delete, delete, delete’…

I imagine most marketers in companies and orgs who are approached in this way, feel much the same. About a year ago a friend of mine started a new role as a CMO and suddenly she was inundated with this kind of spam.

You know the type of emails: those that have very little content (and sometimes no relevance), no proof points, and that just feel like junk… They come across as caring very little about the value they can add to your business because they are so focused on letting you know they can re-build your website, fix the SEO problems you didn’t know you had, or create sales and new business email campaigns with 7 new clients a month being the proven outcome…

Those that send emails such as this clearly advocate mass list activity (thousands of targets) and it’s utterly apparent that no thought or qualification has gone into the accuracy of targets. It’s simply a matter of blast out to a huge list and see what sticks.

What a shame, what a waste of time and energy and how damaging for any business – let alone an agency – to think this might do them good, when actually an approach like this can damage reputation and brand.

There are even some companies out there offering white labelling for marketing agencies(!), touting digital, creative, brand, design, app & web specialist agencies ’spray and pray’ sales activities. This is bad for the creative industry and bad for the new business industry that serves it.

So, what’s a better and more effective approach?

Well, this should sound obvious, but clearly it isn’t – the answer is the opposite of ‘spray and pray’; an approach that values contacting fewer targets coupled with a much greater focus on quality… An approach that thoughtful, well researched and is appropriate to your target. When it comes to new business, one message doesn’t fit all. Taking time to understand what a target / prospect’s role, focus, and pain points is key… As well as understanding what the business you’re reaching out to does (if I had another pound for each time I receive an email from a so-called new business specialist agency letting me know that they can help my DIGITAL agency…I rest my case!). 

Sometimes I feel so deflated I simply can’t be bothered to respond, but when I do, I let them know, that if they’d spent 10 seconds on my company’s website, they’d realise that The Hand is amongst the UK’s foremost business development consultancies specialising in the creative and design agency world and that as such actually we’re in competition to their offer not receptive to it. So, no….we don’t need to be offered automated sales, marketing, data-mining or any such sausage factory nonsense. And the time you’ve wasted approaching me may have been better spent researching a more relevant prospective client, who might actually be remotely receptive to what you’re offering.

Research, know your audience, tailor your approach, be human.

Sorry rant over! Happy Friday all.