Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stupid email marketing

Stupid email marketing

There's a lot of stupid email flying around. I realize that everyone has a learning curve - but why make stupid mistakes when there is so much helpful information on how to use email effectively?

One of the ways to improve your own learning is to notice and learn from the mistakes of others. For that reason I have included the following email that I received.

I usually delete these emails quickly - but this is such a good example of really bad email marketing that I want you to learn from it - and avoid the same mistakes.

As you read this email, consider the following:
  • I don't know this person or company,
  • can you figure out what they are selling?
  • what is the benefit?
  • why should anyone call?
  • what does any of this have to do with the headline - golf shoes?
Read and don't make the same mistakes.

To: info
Subject: Golf shoes - please read. (2/19/2009)


I represent a company called Star Position Search & Navigation Solutions, a company that does what's known as advanced search engine placement. We reach a Network of over 33 million people who are predominantly US based. Our Network is entirely opt-in, and the users on our Network allow us to present them with a preferred choice whenever they are looking for anything on the top sixteen search engines. (GOOGLE, YAHOO, MSN and thirteen others.)

I seek one source to send the users on our Network, from the major search engines, for different types of golf shoes.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience. I am in the office daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific time.

Best regards,

Kathleen Daigle
Sales Manager,
Star Position Search & Navigation Solutions
Phone: 800.481.2979, ext 2003


Did you also notice that the email was addressed to "info"? Very impersonal.

Did you notice that as vague as the email is - it is all about them - not about me or how they could help me?

Did you feel compelled to call - or delete?

I replied to this email and asked her what is she selling. I'll let you know what I learn.

Oops - I forgot to thank her for the good example of a stupid email.

George Torok
Marketing Expert
Executive Marketing Briefing


Friday, February 06, 2009

How to Kill Your Restaurant Business Fast:: Four Eulogies

How to Kill Your Restaurant Business Fast - Four Eulogies
By George Torok

Why did the downtown restaurant close?

The downtown restaurant opened about a year earlier. I wasn't surprised that it closed. I was surprised that it stayed open so long. It was around the corner from my office. I walked past it every time I visited the restaurant next door - about once a week.

Have you ever watched a restaurant open and then watch it slowly starve to death? Have you ever wondered why they failed? Or did you know what they were doing wrong? Maybe you even offered constructive feedback to the staff and owners only to get a nasty look in return. We can see the self-destruction - while the owners seem to be oblivious.

Why is that? Because we see it from the perspective of a customer. The owners are engulfed in their emotional world of "It's mine - it must be beautiful". And maybe they keep telling themselves, "Hey, I spent a lot of money fixing up this place - people just have to see it my way - eventually".

What business are you in?

One of the biggest mistakes that restaurant owners make is to believe that they are in the food business. Big mistake! Grocery stores are in the food business. Restaurants are in the experience business. The experience at McDonalds is very different from that at Boston Pizza from TGI Fridays from Ruth's Chris Steak House. Yet they are all in the same business - just different segments of it.

Why do restaurants fail?

It's usually not the food. Here are three more restaurant failures that I witnessed recently in our neighborhood.

There was the Middle Eastern restaurant that offered Shwarma in a setting that looked more like a Burger King than a Middle Eastern décor. A big disconnect. And even though I lived only three blocks away I never received a flyer from them. They seemed reluctant to advertise.

Joe's Dinner seemed like a welcome change. They advertised in the paper, on lamp posts and sign boards. Lots of promotion. However, after three breakfast visits I swore never to return because the service was very slow and the servers unfriendly. The young girls were clearly untrained and they seemed more interested in chatting with their friends than serving customers. Often three of the staff chatted openly at the bar.

I looked forward to the opening of the new English pub. The décor was impressive. The owners clearly invested a lot of money. Lots of wood, a dance floor and it was small enough to be cozy. After one breakfast visit, one lunch and two dinner explorations they were written off my list. The service made the glaciers look fast. The food was mediocre and the serving staff either failed to recognize the inconvenience or made excuses when we pointed out the short comings.

So why did the downtown restaurant fail? I suspect that the restaurant owners followed a marketing strategy of hope. Hope is an admirable personal quality. It is a lousy marketing strategy.

I never visited this restaurant because it did not look inviting. I walked past at lunch time on a snowy day and the sidewalk wasn't cleaned. It looked uninviting.

It had floor-to-ceiling sized windows across the front - but it always looked dark inside - as if the lights weren't on. I was never sure about the cuisine although it hinted at Italian - which is my favorite. It never looked busy, and oftentimes looked closed. It lacked music that might have suggested excitement to invite folks in. I saw nothing that looked like a grand opening. I saw nothing special going on. Although my office was just around the corner, I never saw an announcement or invitation. I never saw anyone standing outside to welcome passers-by from the main street of town.

Imagine if they had done something just a little different to create excitement. Imagine if they had put balloons outside, hired dancers, held free draws, sponsored a charity event, knocked on doors, offered coupons, distributed menus, invited service clubs to meet... something.

Well, too bad that it closed; I was thinking that I might check it out one time. The food might have been superb. But restaurants are not in the food business. They are in the experience business. They failed to invite me in, which is the first part of the experience.

This downtown restaurant failed in early 2006 - long before the current turbulent times. You can imagine that the business owners probably blamed the market, the location or luck instead of their own lack of marketing. Those business lessons are even more important today. Many businesses will fail over the next few years and the owners will blame the "market" instead of being responsible for their own success or failure.

They had a good location and the economy was good yet they still failed. Location is not the panacea. Luck comes if you do enough of the right things. Business will fail in good and bad economies. Only the excuses will change.

Learn from the lessons of these failed restaurants. I recently spent over $100 on dinner for two at a fine dinning restaurant. The service was fabulous. We would go again. Be very clear on the experience you must deliver. If you run a restaraunt you are not in the food business.

©EA George Torok is co-author of the national bestseller, "Secrets of Power Marketing". To receive a free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" and your free subscription to Power Marketing Tips visit

George Torok is a motivational business speaker who speaks to entrepreneurs, corporations and associations.


This article is published on Ezine Articles.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 16: Leverage the Fear Factor

Power Marketing Tip 16

Leverage the fear factor

To market your business in turbulent times you must manage fears. There are three types of fears that can determine your success or demise.

Your own fears
This is the most dangerous set of fears that you need to manage because it will determine how you run your business and the messages that you convey.

Your most powerful marketing is the expression of your beliefs. If you believe that the sky is falling then you will convey that stench in your conversations and unintended messages to your clients, prospects and staff. Like hyenas they will smell your fear.

The fears of your clients & prospects
Your clients and prospects will experience several fears. If you want them to buy from you then you need to be aware of and address their fears without embarrassing them.
Your clients might wonder if you will stay in business. You need to enhance your communication with them to allay their fears of losing you as a supplier. They might be thinking "if General Motors is in trouble then what about you."

Call them. Talk to them. Meet with them. Update them on your business developments and plans. Start or continue to use blogs and other online social media to keep them updated on your activity.

They will fear their own situation. The business owners will wonder about their cash flow and the increasing competitiveness of their market.

The corporate employees will fear for the loss of their job.

In both cases these fears will tend to focus their outcomes on "not making a wrong choice" versus "making the best choice".

The fears of the marketplace
The media will fan the fears of the general marketplace because that helps sell the news. Pay less attention to the news or at least watch it with a very skeptical eye. Take a controversial position to get more media exposure. Publish tips on how to extract greater value from your product. Hold a "How to Weather the Storm" workshop for your clients.

When everyone else is hiding in "fraidy holes" be bold. Take the lead and profit.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.
PPS: Forward this tip to your associates.

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