So why did you do it?

I received an interesting email this morning that began:

"Hi Greg,

We realize that we just sent out the first announcement about the new social media webinars and don't want to overwhelm you with too many emails about our offerings in a short period of time. The deadline to save $10 on any of our social media webinars is the end of today, Friday, October 9, 2009 so I could not help myself."

Like you, I receive lots of email. In fact, I receive so much that I rarely give much thought as to why a marketing email has been sent to me ... I just presume that the sender wants to market their product or service, and I generally read it in hopes of finding savings or to see if the product or service will make my life easier or more enjoyable. Often, the product is not of interest to me, but I'll forward the message on to others whom I believe may be interested.

But the message this morning struck me in a different way. Clearly, the sender was attuned to the fact that I, like you, receive lots of email and did not want to "overwhelm" me with too much, too soon. Call my cynical, but I believe that the sender is more concerned getting my registration than helping me save $10. My take is that the sender decided that his interest in me registering before tonight's deadline outweighed his concern of overwhelming me with emails. All in all, these two sentences had the effect of making me aware that the sender had considered -- and subsequently dismissed -- the notion that the message might annoy me.

It did. As a result, I've added myself to the sender's 'do not contact' list. Which is a shame because just yesterday I had forwarded one of their messages to a colleague that I thought might have an interest in enrolling and helping to promote the programs. Now, just one day later, the sender has lost the opportunity to communicate with me and my broader network -- all due to two sentences that I feel have betrayed my trust.

Trust is an essential element of change. Every action and interaction involves an element of trust. I like this blog post on building trust. A more extensive resource on the topics is The Speed of Trust.


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