It’s not me, it’s you… #memail

Because of my job, and because I’m a member of modern society, I’m spending more and more time looking at marketing emails. Everyone’s got their own style — a certain tone, a distinctive look, and maybe even a compelling message.

And yet, for all this time and effort spent in reaching out to me, it’s rarely about me.

So many companies seem to think I’ve been holding my breath in anticipation of their next offering. Like I’m watching closely for their campaigns. Like I set my watch by their campaigns. Like I have a watch.

Even worse, I’ve rarely asked for these emails. At some point, I got added to a list, which multiplied to lots of other lists, and suddenly I’m receiving newsletters, product updates, special offers, and reminders about events I didn’t care about in the first place.

But hey, it’s data, right? We like data here, so…

Analyzing my promotions inbox, I can tell you that email marketing wants me to:

  • Stop me from repeating mistakes I’ve never made (Don’t make these design proposal mistakes ever again? Good thing I don’t make design proposals!)
  • Take advantage of a discount on a product or service I don’t want (Even if that 15% offer expires in two days, I’m not buying.)
  • Share irrelevant updates (You’re opening a location in Haifa? Best wishes, but I won’t be there.)
  • Connect with me through pop culture references that don’t matter to me (No, I don’t have to watch Game of Thrones summarized in gifs.)

A significant percentage of these messages are unopened.

And yet, there are a few who’ve clearly watched Seth Godin’s memorable 2003 TED Talk. Aside from espousing the virtues of sliced bread, he shared the claim that “People don’t want email; people want ME-mail.”

People want something personal. Something engaging. Something that matters. Of course. And yet…

If this was a blog about SoGoSurvey features, you know I’d start talking about piping, branching, and QDL Even adding comments, multimedia, branding… But this isn’t about me. It’s about you! Your likes, your needs, your issues. It’s an answer to a question you haven’t even asked yet, a high-five on a success that nobody else noticed. These are the kinds of messages I open, and I’m pretty sure that’s true for most of us. Here, we send you an email when you launch your survey. (Congratulations — that’s a big deal! )

Maybe these people just don’t know me. Maybe I’m spending more time analyzing them than they’re spending analyzing me. All of this ‘What is my motivation??’ is getting no response. Rather, it’s making me unsubscribe.

Motivating people to engage means connecting with something that matters to them. Mail merge just won’t cut it. So you know my name… and? We’re not friends. Get to the point.

My point: Readers are more savvy than ever before. Whenever you’re communicating — emails, invitations, surveys, blogs — make it worth your audience’s time.

  • Know your audience. If your message assumes everyone has had the same experience, be sure they have.
  • Be honest. If this is really an exclusive offer just for me for a limited time, I’m flattered. But if my colleague gets the same note, I’ll trust you less.
  • Meet my needs. If you’re just reaching out to reach out, check yourself. Something that’s remarkable and useful that gets to me at the right moment gets opened.
  • Keep it simple. Lots of calls to action only confuse your readers. If you can’t tell what they need or what they’ll respond to, do your research.

Know more. Connect better. Have your facts in order and your audience in mind before you reach out again.


Want to know more? SoGoSurvey can help. But honestly — you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out a free trial today.