How to Spam

Rarely is the easiest way to reach out to a potential new client the best way to reach out to a potential new client. Consider the email below:

From: [Sender Name Withheld]
To: [The full name and email addresses of 29 people]
Subject: Real Estate Needs
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 14:07:53 -0400
Hello all,
Just wanted to touch base with you all as sometime
recently we have either worked together, meet at a
networking event, or just crossed paths.  I am here
to help you with your real estate needs, whether
that be looking for new space or looking to either
lease out or sell your current location.
If you have any needs at all, please feel free to
contact me anytime.
[Sender Name Withheld]

This came from a total stranger at a respected agency that I’ve worked with before. The subtitles drowned out the text. “Help me, help me, oh G-d please, please help me.”

Times are tough all over. I’m sorry about that. But there’s still a right way (appropriate) and a wrong way (easy) to reach out. How might our well-intentioned microspammer have improved his pitch?

  • Get permission (“opt-in”) before sending Unsolicited Commercial Email.
  • Start a “frequency program,” offering us something of value, over time, before hitting us with a bald pitch from a total stranger.
  • Be specific. Is there a particular property that you’re trying to move?
  • Empathize. Read what you wrote. How do you think it comes across?

Most of all: listen, listen, listen. Have you ever heard a potential new client say, “Gee, I wonder if there is a total stranger who is ‘there to help me with my real estate needs’?

No. Nobody says this. There is media, there is Google, there is the Chamber and the Board of Realtors and the Yellow Pages.

So our gentle microspammer needs to be advertising in print, broadcast and online, where people who actually need his services go looking for them – not in my inbox, destroying any goodwill I might have felt for him, along with the credibility and integrity of his agency.

It’s way too easy to harvest a bunch of names and email addresses and spam them. But what’s easy for our gentle microspammer is hard for this recipient to swallow. Why would I want to do business with this guy?

Tags: Economic Development