The marketing and promotion example in Marketing and Promo Blunders Part One was bad enough. Today I’m going to tell you about an email I received from a Senior Account Executive of a well-known company that teaches marketing webinars.

The first paragraph of the email said:

Hello Randi,

 My name is [     ] and I hope you have been well. We worked together in the past at Musicbizadvice.Com’s telecom expense management & inventory systems, and I wanted to contact you and reintroduce myself…”

Um…No. We never “worked together” at has no such department, and I select and approve all our systems and software and the people who use them. I own the company; I know these things.

By the way, Readers…did you happen to catch that this account executive spelled wrong? I certainly did.

I also noticed he couldn’t be bothered to type the word “and.” He used the ampersand symbol (&) instead. A minor point, perhaps, but if a Senior Account Executive can’t be bothered to write out a three-letter word in his own marketing materials, what kind of care do his clients get?

That’s not all. Check out this paragraph:

“I know you’re on the IT side of the house, but the area between Marketing and IT is closer now than ever…”

Um…No, I’m not in IT. As I said, I own the company. My title is “Founder / Editor-in-Chief.” On online forms where my full title doesn’t fit, I list my title as “Founder.”

Readers, in case you missed it, this email was sent from a the Senior Account Executive of a company that teaches marketing webinars. They also—wait for it—sell software that manages and analyzes marketing data and segments it into categories. You know, things like email address, name, title, company, job function…little things like that (!)

As for the account executive’s tactic of trying to pretend we’ve worked together before, I have two words: slimy and deplorable.

Don’t ever try this, Readers. Aside from the slime factor, it’s stupid: many people in creative professions—particularly on the business side–have photographic memories. I’ve worked with many people whose photographic memories were big keys to their successes.

Does anyone think I’ll trust this company to manage our data or trust them to teach me anything about marketing? I’m all for learning new information, but this guy doesn’t even have the basics down.

Takeaways for you:

1. Always remember your promotion and marketing materials are speaking to people. Not email addresses; not Twitter handles; not Facebook users, but real, live, people.

2. When you’re assembling your lists, do your research. Know something about each person on your list. Yes, everyone. At minimum, you should be able to answer these questions: What company do they work for? What’s their role in the industry? What city are they in? Do they work with your genre of music? How might they help you?

3. Segment your lists so you’re sending to the right people. This is called targeted marketing. If you’re talking to the wrong people, you’re wasting their time and yours. Not only that, email sending companies charge by the number of outgoing email addresses. Sending to the wrong people wastes your hard-earned money.

4. Above all, make sure the between-the-lines (or subliminal) messages your marketing and promotional materials send are aligned with the message you want your brand to send. (Ask someone else to proofread with this specifically in mind.)

The between-the-lines messages the Senior Account Executive’s email said to me were:

1. The company hires slimy, careless people who will apparently do anything to get a sale…except pay actual attention to the people who may buy them.


2. The products his company sells don’t work well enough for the company’s own reps to bother using them.

Don’t let this happen to you!

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