Ever hear of permission marketing?
I got an email the other day with the subject line: "Brian said you should read this." I noticed it was from Monster.com, but Brian is the name of my accountant. So I opened it. The email was just a sales pitch, which I didn't bother to read once I realized what it was.
But I felt duped. In the unlikely event I might ever need to place a help-wanted ad, I will never ever use Monster.com. They, in essence lied to me. They tricked me. I don't like that. Monster.com is now on my computer's spam mail list.
I feel the same way when I am tricked into opening an unwanted snail-mail solicitation. And my reaction is not to buy that advertiser's product or service, but rather to try to avoid it. If it's snail mail and it has a postage-paid reply card or envelope, I throw it back into the mailbox. Let them pay for reply postage because they lied to me. Silly, I admit. But sometimes revenge can be sweet.
Have something to sell me? Try honesty, not trickery. I do not respond well to being fooled.
I sometimes get mail from Chase, where I have my bank accounts. If the envelope says on it "Important information about your account," I open it. And when I see it is a solicitation to add another account or buy some other service from Chase, I feel I've been had. In a way, it's even worse than the phoney email pitch from "Brian" at Monster.com. Chase is abusing the relationship they already have with me.
I've complained to my branch manager, but she couldn't do much more than pass my complaint along. And I still get mailings with "important news about my account" that's not at all important – at least not to me. If it wasn't such a hassle, I'd switch banks. But Chase has given me good service at the branch level over the years, so I let this one slide.
But hasn't Monster.com ever heard of permission marketing? I would think they're a bit more sophisticated than others who use phoney subject lines, like the offshore pill pushers. Ask me before you begin hitting me with junk email. Because if you don't ask, or if you try to be sneaky about it, you're wasting your time. And I might even say or write something nasty about you.
Do you hear me, Brian?