Marketing Success, It’s All About The “Open?”


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Over the past couple of days I’ve had an “interesting” exchange with a marketing/lead gen “expert.”

I had been the “victim” of one of his demand gen campaigns. As you will see, the campaign generated, not only, a negative response from me, but one in which I stated I would actively encourage people not to do business with his company.

His response was, “I always measure success by open and reply rates.” As a result, his view was his campaign had been very successful. I had opened and reply, despite the fact my reply was very negative.

While his reaction may be a little extreme, it’s actually not that unusual. Too many marketing professionals believe the objective of their campaigns is to create the open–they don’t care whether their campaign has created a positive or negative impact. To them, it’s all about the open.

I’m, by no means, an expert in marketing and demand gen. I have always been of the opinion that marketing, demand gen, lead gen programs were all about creating interest–not active disinterest.

But too many marketing “experts” don’t believe this. Any open, any response is good. Apparently meeting their own goals–in the case of this expert, billing clients on opens, is the goal.

I wish I were smart enough to make this up, but enjoy the conversation below.

Hey there! [I guess this is his view of personalization]

I’m Mike, founder of [Clueless Demand Gen] – LinkedIn automation tool. [Ironically, this came in email and not LinkedIn]

I’ve seen on your blog several articles regarding tips and tricks for salespeople and decided to contact you since I have material that will be relevant to your blog. [I don’t write about tips and tricks, apparently he knows I’m a blogger, but nothing about what I write.]
Just curious, is there any opportunity to work with you? I can provide you with a series of articles about how salespeople can boost their efficiency and reduce losses when they use LinkedIn as a platform to get leads. I strongly believe, this information will be relevant to your subscribers as they can get new insights on how to leverage sales in LinkedIn.
Moreover, I’m sure that it can be a mutually beneficial deal.
So, do you see anything interesting here?
P.s. you also can get in touch with me on Facebook or LinkedIn, all details in my signature.


My response to Mike:

Mike:  I certainly hope this isn’t an example of your personalization approaches, and what your company thinks of as high impact marketing.  It’s probably one of the worst marketing emails I’ve encountered. 

If you actually had read any of our blog posts, you would find we are fundamentally opposed to this kind of marketing. 

Also, if you had read them, you would know we take great glee in using these types of emails as examples of what not to do.  Thank you for the new material, I’m sure my readers will enjoy the post I will be writing on this specific outreach.
You can remove me from all your future outreach.  Thank you.

And Mike’s stunning response to me:

Hi Dave!
Thanks for your quick reply. I always measure the success of any campaign through open and reply rates. And if it looks good, why don’t we use this channel? Especially, if you are a startup and trying to stick to the cost-cutting strategy 🙂
By the way, I appreciate your feedback as it helped me improve outreach strategy (that’s absolute truth).
Nevertheless, if you decide to consider our app as something that can help salespeople reach their sales quota, I’ll be happy to share how it works.
Thanks again for your time!


Great marketing is not about opens and responses. It’s about creating awareness and interest. It’s to provoke a customer or prospect to want to learn more. It should educate the prospect, getting them to understand things that are or should be important to them.

By doing this well, great marketing moves beyond opens and responses to engagement.

Unfortunately, Mike won’t learn this–at least he won’t see this post.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


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