(Editor’s Note: This morning, we welcome a guest writer, Steve Berg. Sure, his picture is on the side bar and all, but we rarely see him around these parts — rarely, that is, until he gets a little bee in his bonnet. So, join me in welcoming Steve. Let’s make him feel at home.)
Please, just shoot me. I don’t mean fatally, but maybe just maim me a little. It will be a much more pleasant experience than the last fifteen minutes I spent going through my email inbox. I’ve hit the unsubscribe link so many times this morning, that I risk a serious onset of Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
It has become a daily ritual for millions of people. And don’t think that this constant drip of irrelevant information is not topical for a blog where we sometimes talk about real estate. My spam is all real estate, all day.
The problem is that I didn’t ask for it, I don’t need it and I don’t want it. If I am looking for a home for a client, I am already searching the target areas using my “MLS thingy.” I know every home that is available. The last thing I need is for a gazillion listing agents to assume that I am an idiot, unable to unearth their offerings should they be right for my client, and consequently crash my inbox party in droves.
Most of the daily e-flyers I receive are a monumental waste of cyber-space, presumably sent only for the bragging rights at their next listing appointment. “Forget that loser agent Steve and his fancy Google ranking. I market your home to every agent in the lower 48!” Only, I don’t really need to know that you have just listed a lakefront in Kennebunkport, because my clients are looking for a home in San Diego. So, what you are really doing is selling your would-be client a bill of goods, right?
But, here is the kicker. These same agents are also marketing to a massive list of unsuspecting civilians. It’s the old numbers game, a modern version of the intrusive cold call. Many times, it is arguably a case of bad marketing happening to otherwise good agents.
Drip Marketing Vendor: “You will not believe how many leads you will get when you subscribe to my water torture, err, drip e-mail campaign. For just a few dollars, we guarantee that you will piss off, err, reach hundreds of thousands of live ones, uh, customers!”
Otherwise Good Agent: “Cool! Can I get my picture on it?”
We have been down this road before, ad nauseam. How is it that so many agents buy into this ridiculously irritating, unwelcome, intrusive method of marketing? I vote for “lazy.” Reach the most people with the least investment of both time and money.
Allowing people to opt in – to a feed or a newsletter – is one thing. Spamming the daylights out of your potential clients, not to mention your fellow agents, is another. You risk alienating the customer and driving business to another agent who respects the new rules of permission engagement and designs his marketing around results, not just…
Um, never mind. I think spamming is brilliant! Go for it.