I was emailed to ask if I wanted to see an “awesome infographic” from a content provider. They looked to be a high-quality outfit and the email was nice and polite if a little dull and with no real benefit to me. So I wrote them a reply and thought I would share it with you.
I get these emails all the time and they are frighteningly similar. The thing is, it wouldn’t take much more effort to get a better response. I am sure their infographic was truly fab, although I tend to reserve awesome for things like the Grand Canyon or Rowes Cornish pasty.
Hi [name redacted].
Appreciate the opportunity to see your “awesome infographic”.
To be honest, I am swamped with requests to see “awesome” infographics all day long.
In fact, I think we are all drowning right now in awesome content.
Thing is, “awesome” is no longer enough, and what I mean by that is that how awesome your content is not relevant.
I need more than awesome.
You may already be familiar with the term, content shock.
What is needed is to add “relationship” to content marketing.
You and I currently have a relationship based on one email.
You see where I am going with this?
I am not aware that you have done anything for me and so feel no need to reciprocate. You have probably read Persuasion by Cialdini and his thesis on reciprocity.
I realise that the email you sent me is probably a cookie cutter email sent to a list of maybe thousands. And that is done because it does return something, but it’s not the best way to do things. And also, the fact that the email says, “we are about to enter 2018”, makes me think either your email responder is slow or you haven’t had the time or inclination to change the copy. It is after all the little things which make the difference.
Forming relationships with people, getting them to like and respect you is a longterm play and I realise that most agencies and most in-house outreach people do not go for the long term. But these types of relationships bring the most rewards.
It is interesting when most requests come in that there is not even a tweet or a retweet of my work, and yet that would be a free and easy way to get my attention, to give me something. At the very least this would help grease the wheels for your email, to enable it to have a more receptive consideration.
I think most are under the impression that creating great content and letting people know about it is enough, it’s not. They get by with the ease of brute force communication signalling, hitting as many contacts as possible.
Thing is, you probably only needed to persuade one person of high influence and let their tribe do the rest.
Hope you appreciate my comments.