Perhaps our ideas about ‘best practice’ in marketing should include a Code of Respectful Marketing, but as there isn’t, here are a couple of rules to get this started. Tell me in the comments whether I’m on the right lines, and what rule you think should be added.
#1 If There Are Rules, I’ll Follow Them
Here in the UK, there’s a thing called the Telephone Preference Service. If you register your phone number with the service, it’ll be on a database that bona-fide marketing agencies can buy, and then screen your number out of the lists they’ll call.
It doesn’t work. It’s easier for telemarketing agencies to place the call.
They know that most people won’t know about TPS, that complaining about their abuse will be a burden on you, and that there’s no really effective penalty.
But when those unwanted calls come through, your reaction is probably the same as mine. I’ll go out of my way not to buy from those companies, and tell anyone who’ll listen how bad they are at what they do.
That’s the real penalty. Offend me, and you offend all my friends. Don’t do it.
#2 Just Because I Found You, It Doesn’t Mean I’m Your Best Friend
OK, you found me on LinkedIn, and we appear to have some people or interests in common.
I’ll connect with you, as you requested, because I wouldn’t want to be judgemental at this stage, as we just might prove to be useful to each other in time.
But I said “in time”.
As soon as you connected with me, you sent me a loooonnnnng message about exactly how your product or service can satisfy my every need. Which it won’t. And anyway, you spelled my name wrong in the message.
You could have asked me questions about what I need, and you might have created an opening for a useful dialogue, but you just had to go for the finishing line in your opening message. Take it easy. Ask a question or two. Get to know me before you try to sell.
#3… (and the rest) is up to you…
Put your own suggestions in the comments.