It’s Holiday Season and no matter from what religion you’re into or even if you’re atheist, this is a time you enjoy to spend with your family or friends since most of the people take some vacation or some days off.

Having said that, there’s a few things which really makes us cringe and annoy the hell out of our minds. For instance, there are some relatives or friends that fall into some categories that makes us a nervous wreck.

So, I’ll use these people examples to make a pretty credible similarities between them and the way you do Email or Mobile Marketing with your subscribers. For that, just imagine that the Subscriber is a family man or woman that is hosting a family dinner with all the family reunited talking about life stories and new developments.

Regularly, there’s always a friend or a family member that really makes someone cringe or show a yellow smile when they show up by surprise at their door step. If you want to have a great time with your family and get nice presents, you really need to take care and avoid to be one of these characters.
Please, don’t assume that these examples are in any way based on real – real life. 😉 They’re just fictions characters, that you can be familiar with somehow.
So, let’s begin:

1. The Missing Ex-Brother in Law

Missing Ex-Brother in Law

There you are, all prepared to place the turkey at the table and everyone is ready to start their meal and the door bell rings unexpectedly. Curious, you open the door trying to figure out whom would be at that time. To your surprise is your Ex-Brother in Law that ditched your sister 5 years ago for a new blonde model entering your living room asking if he can join the party and have dinner with you. Telling you that he was wrong and that he shouldn’t have done that, asking for another chance, already sitting and grabbing a turkey leg on someone else’s plate. What would you do? Crazy, right? Never happened to you before? Probably, since this is like a mayounaise dreamish bad novel writing. However, you get the picture, right?

Some brands are like this guy that you want to smack in the head and kick their butt out of your house to never come back again. Not happy by never talking to you since you’ve subscribed 5 years ago (do you still remember, after all this time?) and at the first message sent, they already have a sales pitch on it for you to buy their stuff. Humm… not nice, right?

Don’t be this Guy!

You shouldn’t even send them unless you first apologize, then you say what and how many times you’re going to send them having in mind what’s your subscriber’s best interest, not yours, and how much value you’ll be delivering to them. Then, you still should ask them if they still want to be on your list. Place a big UNSUBSCRIBE button on your email and make sure that the process runs simple and smooth for the ones that don’t want to receive any other email from you. Trust and reputation takes a life to get and a few seconds to lose. Not only that, you should remove from your list everyone that don’t have track that have opened or bounced. Start with the ones that did opened and haven’t subscribed. They’re giving the last chance to make a difference and make things right again. Don’t mess up again!

2. That Pushy Brat of a Nephew Always Asking for a Present

The Pushy Nephew Brat

You know what I mean, right? You haven’t even said hi and he’s already asking if you have brought him a present? Where is it? Give me, give me, give me!! What do you do in this case? Well, for the family sake you swallow and give him a small plastic plane that you’ve bought at the seven’eleven at the corner just to shut him up. He complains anyway, so there’s no need to buy something more expensive. Also, usually one tries to avoid him at any cost.

Don’t be this Guy!

Some brands act just like this brat. They use their email or mobile channel to ask you to buy something. Buy this, buy that, buy something. Just buy! Sometimes the subscriber even buys something just to see what happens and the next message is… buy again! He’s sick of it, but in this case he doesn’t take it for the family, he just click the spam button or some other filter and you’re out of his life. And you don’t just lose a subscriber, you lose his trust and will to go for you when he’s really searching for your line of products or services. Pushy guy!!

3. That Distant Cousin which only shows up on Holidays or when he Needs Money

A Distant Cousin that asks for money

Almost every family has someone like this one. You don’t ear from him or she the entire year, but it shows up for the family banquete to feast and have some new project or endeavor for what needs some funds. So, you need to give an excuse every time to skip that and he goes for the next in the room. Com’on man! He stays an entire year without a single phone call or message to know if you’re alright or if you needed something but it shows up at the Holidays to ask for money.

Don’t be this Guy!

Do you relate some brands to this behavior? Unfortunately it’s very common. We just get a text message one time a year to say that they wish a great new year and that they have a special deal just for us to enjoy. Really? That’s no way to make a relationship [place brand’s name here 🙂 ]. Give value to the Subscriber. Make them feel special for the entire year. And no, at the Holidays don’t just ask for them to buy something. Give more value and wish them the best. You can incite the purchase in different times of the year, months, days. But with a consistent value added and make them respect you. Be someone that it’s there the entire year for them and not just at the Holidays to ask them for money.

4. That Gossip Auntie that doesn’t let Go and tells it all

The Gossip Auntie

There’s another kind of family member that turns your nerves into a wreck. This pain in the arse, snoopy Auntie is on your case the entire year, every day trying to know things about you but not for your benefit at all, but to share with other people and family members. Then, at the Holidays, without you even know about it, it seems that your entire family knows that you’ve become a vegetarian and offer you things that can or not relate to eating vegetables. It’s so overwhelming that you’re starting to wonder if it would be better to get that same horrible wool sweater every year.

Don’t be this Guy!

There’s a serious trend right now which is to share information about your list. One company shares your subscriber buying habits with you and you share the information to them to partner and deliver (you think) better value and reach more subscribers. At first it seems interesting, but what would you think if someone shared your secrets and habits with others without your permission. Would you feel secure to buy to that brand again? Would you feel secure to share more information with them? A brand should be very careful in understand what kind of information should gather, segment or even turn into a cluster. Instead of creating a very targeted message you could just creep someone out. Act as if your Subscriber is a person and you might find out that you’re also one. 😉

5. That Drooling Fluffy Grandma that Hugs you to Death

The Fluffy Drooling Grandma

Ok, this is a very ambiguous situation, because, well, you love your Grandma. You can’t help it! She’s that smiling, fluffy, hugging old lady that you can’t help to love. However, your girlfriend finds very funny when she still treats you like a small child and drools you with kisses, pinch your cheeks and give you a tap in the butt calling you “Frickle Chubby Joe”. Too much information? Agree.

Don’t be this lovely old lady!

How can your brand be like this? Well, usually, if you’re not a toy store (and even then, usually who subscribes are the parents), your subscriber is an adult. So, at Holiday Season, why do you send fluffy kittens with a little elf on top wishing everyone a Merry Christmas for instance? It’s cute indeed, but it’s not for a brand to send. Your grandma or that warming next door neighbor that gives you a delicious apple pie on Thanks Giving it’s perfectly natural and almost like a guilty pleasure to get it. However, your brand does not carry this amount of warming tenure and affection nor it should have for business purposes. So, why to send people this kind of messages and expect anything than that awkward moment when you feel embarrassed for the brand itself? Don’t forget your place and act according to that. Send something creative but leverage the cuteness and keep your style.

I could go on and on, but let’s face it. This has been already too long and most of the people don’t reach here. So, I’ll just end up with a few more tips on how to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd.

  1. Listen, instead of pushing your message. Holiday Season is a time for people to enjoy, not entirely for you to sell stuff.
  2. Ask your Subscriber what they would love to get as a present. Even though you might not send them that actual present, you can have an idea of whom you have in your list and even give them a moment to introspection and feel that they matter. Give them a voice!
  3. Give something. Not a discount! Give really something for free. Like an ebook, a walkthrough, a How-To description or even something for Charity and make a poll with your subscribers to select which one.

There’s tons of ideas around. What happens at the end is that you’re still going to have sales. Indirectly and sometimes even directly by this kind of attitude. You gain someones respect. Not lose it! And build your reputation bag for when your subscriber is ready to make a purchase again.

Don’t be that Guy! Be yourself.

All Picture Credits are from each Movie Producers and Studios. No claim for any rights. They just help to describe each topic.

Rui Nunes

Author Rui Nunes

Rui Nunes is the Founder & CEO of sendXmail, focused in getting the best ROI from your email & mobile marketing strategies with a Full Service program where the sendXmail team applies the expertise gathered from years of experience into your marketing objectives, through state of the art technology.

More posts by Rui Nunes

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