Judging from the number of email solicitations from complete strangers to “schedule an appointment” I’ve been receiving, my business email address is ensconced in some marketing database. Below is an example that struck me as How Not To Do This Sort Of Thing. Snarky comments are inline in [red].
Subject: Would like to connect with you [I'm sorry, but this sounds like a spam subject line, not too far from "Sales Performance Enhancement." I am, for better or worse, old-fashioned.]
Hello james, [Lack of capitalization or using my legal name == using a bulk mail program! Regrettably, this list is not from Adobe, as it would have referred to me as Most Exalted One or Supreme Galactic Commander, for example.]
We intend to align our services with your business [Not on the first date, you won't. Oh, sorry. I have no idea what language you're speaking. The words are English, but...] in the areas of Microsoft technologies [That would be awesome... except half my customers run Linux, Mac and UNIX] and I wish to speak to you about
[He then fires three bullets from his buzzword shotgun, spraying acronyms all over the screen: WPF, WCF, and WTF. Then, before reloading, out comes a puff of "Cloud Computing." ...]
Let me know if you need any specific information regarding this. [Dandy! Let's start with a short explanation, in English, of who you are, what it is your company does, and why you think it's relevant to my company.]
Since the email is so obviously from a mailing list, I won’t spend time crafting a personal, desnarkified response. Had the sender spent a few minutes looking at my company’s web site — you know, doing research — he might tailored his message more effectively.
Another solicitation invited me to attend a lunch seminar at a mid-scale restaurant in downtown Seattle. While tempting for the good food, it’d be pretty low on my priority list of “things to do with a four-hour bloc in the middle of the day.”
I get tons of invitations to attend some webinar of companies I’ve not heard of, which would be fine if they could describe what it is they did in a way that made sense to me. “Cost-effective security strategies for TLAs” just doesn’t grab me. I’m slightly more tolerant of webinars because I can do stuff on my other computer while they’re monkeying around with the technology.