Here’s an example of a typical email I receive multiple times daily from social media experts on behalf of their clients. The company that sent this one says on their website that they, “track, measure and analyze everything – making sure our team delivers exactly the right message, authentically and transparently, to the right audience.”
In practice, do they measure up to that standard?
Hey Ed Kohler,
Strange start. Not a common way to address someone. Especially from someone who claims to be a Deets reader:
I love your blog!
I like your post about your ‘Recent Bike Trips Around Town.’
Looks like he read the most recent post.
I think its interesting how you documented where you stopped and what you ended up getting. From the looks of your destinations, it seems as we have the same interests when it comes to good eats.
He does appear to have read at least one post on the site.
I am a huge fan of great food but I like to save money when I can.
Wait, what? That post wasn’t about saving money. It was about biking around town.
Honestly, who doesn’t like spending less to get a great experience in a great city?
Based on focused grouping a whiteboard session feel of that question, I imagine the answer is “no one.”
That’s why I think you and your readers would love to learn more about LivingSocial.
That’s why? It’s not because you’re being paid to spam people?
Every day, LivingSocial will offer an amazing deal (we’re talking up-to-90%-off amazing) for local restaurants, bars, spas, theaters, and more.
That’s already good, but I hope you like sugar, cause Visa is sweetening deals over the next couple months.
You hope I like sugar? Are you sure that’s an authentic thing to say to this “right audience”?
When the Visa Deal of the Day is on, you score a deal for your friend! This Friday (7/30) and next Monday (8/2), when you buy a Living Social deal with your Visa card, you’ll get another deal to give to a friend! Simple as that.
That seems like something LivingSocial could tell me in their email or on the site next to the deal. I think we could both agree that I wouldn’t be swayed by this offer if I didn’t want the deal. So, why are you emailing me about this?
Now, if the deal could speak for itself, it’d say, “I’m pretty great.”
Anthropomorphic spam is kind of creative.
As it stands, though, we need your help to spread the word about these deals to your readers.
Or, you don’t have an audience of your own, don’t want to spend money on advertising, or have convinced your client that spamming bloggers is the what social media is all about?
Go to LivingSocial now and get ready for the Visa Deal of the Day in your city: livingsocial.com
Get ready? I can barely contain my excitement.
If you aren’t able to cover the deal as a post, then we would like to have your permission (pretty please?) to post a comment to the last post on The Deets with the offer.
Why would I want you to post information about this to a post I wrote about local bike trips?
I look forward to hearing from you and let me know if you have any questions!
[I removed the employee’s name.]
Visa Outreach Team
Thanks, Visa Outreach Team, for engaging me in this social conversation. Color me informed.
Here is a bit more on “Activation Outreach” from the sending agency’s website:
Key to effective execution is having a dedicated and professional outreach team that deeply understands the platforms being used. This is critical on two levels. First, you need to know the subtle and effective ways to maximize impact on each platform. Second, each platform has it’s own rules of engagement. Only by being an integral part of the platform ecosystem can you make sure that engagement is both respectful and effective.
“Subtle and effective” sounds sleazy to me. I’m more interested in transparent and effective. Or honest and effective.
Here’s an idea that social media experts may want to consider trying: When emailing bloggers who don’t appear to pimp products as often as mommy bloggers or Target Rounders, consider sending an email that says something like this:
According to some our social media software, you appear to have written about Groupon in the past and have a decent readership. Given that, would you be interested in hearing about an offer involving a Groupon competitor that’s partnering with a credit card company?
If so, let me know.
If you’re not interested in this, but may be interested in future PR news, could you let me know what sort of topics or companies interest you so I can hit you up with the right stuff?
& Company Name
& Phone Number
& Twitter Account
That would work much better with me, and I have a hunch that others may prefer something like that as well. Go ahead and steal it if you agree, social media experts.