How to approach a marketing professional – agency mistakes

By January 4, 2013Search Engines

I get loads of emails all the time from marketing agencies, I seem to get approached more regularly than before and I’m definitely picking up on some of the general tactics and half the time I just find the efforts of these so called marketing agencies to be embarrassing at best.

I tend to get emails in which someone says: “Sorry to email you like this….” first of all, don’t start an email with an apology, what the hell are these guys sorry for, being in business, wanting to do business with me?

I do get the occasional letter, these do make me sit up and think because it’s rare to get a physical letter these days. They tend to follow the same format as emails though.

Using Features, Benefits and Calls to Action in Emails and Letters

The things I’ve noticed about all these communications is they don’t really say what the company does, they tend to ramble on and if I’ve got to the end of them generally are still none the wiser.

Marketing agencies also tend to forget to use call to actions, focus on the features and don’t mention the benefits to me – all of which makes me wonder why I would entrust an element of my marketing budget to them if they can’t even market themselves.

The key is really to be professional – I really love a bit of quirkiness in the design, packaging, delivery of something – but make the message straight forward, to the point (make sure there is a point!), do your homework about what it is we do and make sure by the end of it the reader understands what the benefits are of using the marketing agency.

Marketers love stats and figures. Put yourself in the mindset of a marketer, generally we have to justify our marketing spend decisions and budgetary requirements to higher powers. As such most of us work on acquisition and retention models, that is how much it costs to get a customer and how much it costs to retain a customer over a certain period of time. These are the only figures that make much of a difference to any marketer that’s worth their salt. Demonstrate that you understand this in your initial communication, that way we know you’re not an airy fairy design / brand agency that will charge a fortune and not be able to demonstrate outcome of the deliverable.

Is a letter or an email even the right medium?

To be honest, my first reaction to an email or letter is to want to ignore it, personally, I would much prefer a phone call, yes there will be gatekeepers to get past but if you’ve done your homework on the business, are persistent you should through to the right person at some point.

As the old saying goes, “people deal with people” and with letters and emails there is a real chance that you will lose the business before you have a chance to get it.

You might think it’s a numbers game, well it’s not, most marketing agencies can’t deal with thousands of customers all at the same time so why bother sending out thousands (or even tens) of emails, instead do you homework and target a handful at a time, that way you can already have in mind a proposal when you approach the marketer in question. Might actually get somewhere that way.

Anyways – rant over.

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