Positive Communications - or, What I Really Think About E-Mail Marketing and Online Reviews

I’ve been considering a couple of communication-based dilemmas these past few weeks.  The first one was about e-mail marketing and whether or not I should use it to promote my business.

I've noticed how often people have extolled the benefits of e-mail marketing recently, but to be honest it’s never really spoken to me.  I don’t sign up to receive e-newsletters (though I get them just the same!) and I don’t read them, preferring to scroll through social media and discover the things I want to read, instead.  I tend to think of e-newsletters as the equivalent of those endless takeaway leaflets I get through the post, which automatically go straight into the recycling bin. 

Various meetings with marketing experts have revealed that I definitely should have a mailing list, and I definitely should be e-mailing that list on a regular basis, but on reflection I think that for now at least, I’m going to stay away from troubling random inboxes with my writing-based witterings.  You may thank me for this via e-mail if you like, with no fear that by contacting me you’re going to be added to a ‘mailing list’ of any kind.  Fear not; you won’t be.  You’re very welcome.

My second dilemma was to do with online reviews.  Two companies I’d previously dealt with contacted me out of the blue over the past week, asking me to review them on various sites.  Seemingly, these companies assumed I must have had nothing but good things to say about them, since surely they wouldn’t have asked me to post reviews otherwise?

Reviews and recommendations are another online phenomenon I don’t really take much notice of.  Far too many of them are just written to be nice or for a quiet life, by people lightly pressured by the company concerned to say something positive.

In my case I felt indifferent to the two companies requesting jolly words; my “experience” (why do so many companies call dealing with them an “experience” – it sounds like you’ve been on an exhilarating fairground ride together instead of wordlessly buying a hundredweight of cat litter) had simply amounted to my wanting something, contacting them to provide it, and getting just about what I had expected.  I’m not sure the world really needs to know all about something so boringly banal, and so with a slight touch of guilt I decided to ignore the requests. 

(For the record I do write reviews, but only if I think there’s something people might be interested to know, like when I’m staying in a hotel and the cleaner hasn’t dusted under the bed.  Joke).

I’m the same with business recommendations, not wanting to make any unless I’ve either personally dealt with the company concerned, or the person running the business is a trusted friend.  This is why I don’t join networking groups that rely on quantity of recommendations. 

I suppose what all this amounts to is that, a) I don’t want to make myself overly annoying, b) I like my words and my recommendations to actually mean something, and c) I quite like to use my blog as an opportunity to rant every now and again.  All very fine things to discover, in my humble opinion!  And if you think the same, why not write me a lovely review of this post?  Oh go on, please!

A new year is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time to start thinking about positive changes you’d like to make in your life, whether personal or for business.  I can help you find the right words for your CV, your web copy, or even an online profile!  Please get in touch if you’d like a no-obligation chat over coffee.