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You have been warned! If you persist in sending unwanted communication to your bought or acquired marketing lists, it is a matter of time before you will be reported and blacklisted, and hopefully not prosecuted.
I received yet another unsolicited email this morning from a person selling services that do not interest me. I had just unsubscribed when I was sent another email containing information that does not resonate with me at all. The information was irrelevant and did not present anything that I found interesting or value-adding.
This motivated me to write this article, providing advice to outbound marketers on how to use inbound marketing techniques to market themselves and their products, services and solutions. Here are some DO’S and DON’TS to consider. If you choose not to adhere to these rules, you will lose respect, credibility, followers, connections, subscribers, get blocked, get reported for spam and possibly pay a hefty fine and enjoy some prison food.
DO interact with opted-in subscribers
Only interact with opted-in people who have followed, connected and subscribed to the channels you manage. If someone has connected, they have provided you with permission to interact with them. They have read your personal or company profile on your website, blog, LinkedIn or Twitter and have identified you as a person or company who may be able to provide them with value-adding content.
DON’T send unsolicited communication
Some countries still permit you to send unsolicited email communication until such time that the person UNSUBSCRIBES. This law is changing or has changed in many countries and states that you may only send email communication to someone who has SUBSCRIBED already. For those countries where the opt-out law is still in place, you can still send emails but do not abuse this as you give email a bad name.
DO share content that adds value
The content you should be sharing on your website, blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels should be interesting, provocative, compelling, insightful, humorous (exercise with caution), value-adding and sharable. My rule when interacting with decision makers is to share content they would be willing to take into a board meeting.
DON’T talk about yourself
The golden rule of inbound marketing is to present your target market with content that can make their life easier, solve a business problem or challenge or make their job easier. When writing content, think about the “What’s in it for me?” question. DO NOT send an email, tweet, LinkedIn or Facebook update talking about your company, products, services and solutions. This is the quickest way to lose an audience.
DO build credibility
If you continue to share value-adding content and talk with authority around a specific subject, your respective communities will start respecting you and you will be perceived as a thought leader. This takes time, but once trust has been earned, you will get the meeting with your prospective client. This approach also enables you to communicate frequently, keeping you top-of-mind.
DON’T abuse great communication channels
The days of outbound marketing are over, especially for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. This may still work for consumers on television, radio and newspapers but people can choose to ignore these messages. In terms of online marketing the ONLY way to build influence and new business opportunities is through the adoption of inbound marketing principles. Use the social web for what it was designed for (i.e. a platform to engage, interact, educate and learn from others).
DO use your website for company and product information
Use your website to present information relating to your company, your people, your core values, your mission statement, your products, services and solutions, case studies and client testimonials. Be sure to include a form to send inquiries and to subscribe to your newsletter and to follow and connect on social media.
DON’T persist with your current outbound marketing
Take heed to the advice that has been provided by countless inbound marketing thought leaders who have learned through trial and error and carry the battle scars. There are numerous books and blogs on the subject which provide sound advice. Do it properly and you will reap the rewards
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the elements mentioned above in more detail, feel free to contact me. I welcome your comments at the end of this article and please share with your network if you feel it will add value to others.
Image: Alesandrocorona via Flickr.