Marketing, not spam
From time to time I get the chance to tell people about what it is that I do. When I say “HTML Email Marketing,” most people jump to the conclusion that I create spam, and that I must be employed by some huge company that hires endless rows of nameless workers to do nothing but bombard the general public with unwanted emails. The conversation that follows is usually a pretty interesting one, where I spend some time dispelling myths about the industry. Here are a few distinctions I think people could generally benefit from:
Marketing is not Spam
First and foremost, marketing a product to someone is a different from spamming someone. What makes it different? You want marketing. Everyone I send email to has, at one point or another, requested to receive it. This seems a little bit odd to many people, because there tends to be a general understanding that nobody wants to be advertised to—they want to independently decide that they will make purchases in a responsible manner. As marketers, we do our best to make sure that email sign-ups aren’t accidental, or the result of dark patterns, and that helps keep our viewers happy and our campaigns successful.
If you don’t want it, we don’t want to send it to you
Many people miss the difference between targeted marketing and advertising. To many, “advertising” is that stuff they try desperately to ignore. The billboards, the junk mail, or the coupon books that they never asked for. Marketing is different. Because it’s something you asked for, it’s presumed to be need-based. What does that mean—do you need the products we’re marketing? In a literal sense, probably not. What you “need” is an honest conversation with the company that is emailing you; a conversation that provides applicable, interesting content to you, the interested reader. If you’ve agreed to hear what the company has to say, there’s a basic trust established.
If you want it, we want to deliver
So, by signing up you’ve indicated that you want a conversation. It’s our job to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the conversation between you and the company you trust. This is why we’re considered specialists: it takes experience and technical expertise to make sure that nothing hinders a remote conversation between company and customer. Use of good graphic design, copywriting, and content delivery are just a few areas that help maintain and even grow a customer’s trust. We help make companies and customers happy by delivering these valuable services (and more).
So, when someone asks me what I do, I usually hesitate to give the short answer.