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The homeless man & the email marketer.

I’ve been the, how to put it delicately, victim of several email marketing campaigns. Theatres, products, Politicians – every single one of them are begging me for their money. Much like a homeless man.

Now, my friends, do not let the email marketer’s suit fool you. Right now, this person holds the same job as a bum. I figured this out in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble. A guy was begging people for some change. I didn’t run into him, but I definitely observed his methods. Try one target with one story, try another target with another story; keep trying until someone breaks. It’s the same as any other bum.

And it’s the same as any email marketer. See, our inboxes get flooded with emails because each marketing campaign is designed to try different methods until we break. I’m going to point a finger at MoveOn.org. As a fairly liberal person, I don’t like calling you out, MoveOn.org. I’m sure money comes in, but only because we’re attacked by 10 emails a day (and it was worse during the election.) One email comes from a celebrity liberal, the next a politician. Your third one is with video. The fourth is from the executive director. And it goes on….until you break.

Theatres do the same. They send emails about their shows, new reviews about their shows, new programs that need funding, subscription deals, mid-season subscription deals, emails from the artistic director, from the stars, from the show’s director….get the point?

This is my second post today that references Seth Godin, but the man’s thoughts seem so goddamn relevant to me. He teaches us permission marketing… Consumers and donors only want information when they ask for it. It seems simple right? Yet, email marketing continues to cram information down our throats.

And worse…it’s all asking for money.

The guy in the parking lot is relentless. He’s going to ask and ask. Rather than allowing me to donate money to organizations that help the needy, he’s going to ask me for money in the parking lot. It annoys me (and I never give money to a person begging in a parking lot.)

Consumers want everything on their terms and conditions…not the companies. When I feel like donating to theatre, I will. When I feel like buying a product, I will. And when I want to help the needy, I will. Any request before that moment is noise.

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