how is your foundation

I recently received an email from someone I had exchanged business cards with a few months ago. She has an intriguing business start-up and if it’s done right, she could easily have government contracts around the world for this product. She could have hospitals around the world clamoring for this! And she could have a huge following in the private sector too. Marketing something like this is on my wish list. As soon as I learned it’s functions and the benefits this new product offers, I had to keep from volunteering to help market it. This can soar! I could feel it!

The email from this start-up was, however, deeply disappointing and completely deflating. It was possibly the worse email ever from a marketing standpoint.

They started by telling me they are “ready to launch”, via a Kickstarter campaign, but the email then went on to tell me that I would get an email soon to tell me more about the launching on Kickstarter. They were asking for my help – in the future.

And they meant future, because there was nothing in the email that would let me help them now.

The only link in the entire email was to the website home page. I searched everywhere to learn more and there was nothing in the site about the upcoming Kickstarter campaign starting sometime in October. And October is days away.  I went to their Facebook page: nothing. The entire campaign is a secret. Why am I left wanting to help with absolutely no way to help?

This email also had deep flaws as a marketing piece beyond being premature with no core message. It was missing important features:

  • No picture of the product. Biggest no-no ever for a product email. Show the product!
  • Assumption that I would recognize the logo of the product and remember what it is and does. Not a wise assumption!
  • No description of the product and it’s features/benefits. No picture and NO idea what this is about? Yikes – big assumptions continue!
  • No call to action other than to say that I should look for more information to follow soon. THEN – I can share with friends and family.

But not yet? Can’t help now? I am on hold. I now must wait for another email to share any news about this GREAT product. Furthermore, to insure I don’t help spread the word until the next email (see how odd that sounds?) there were other missing features:

  • No button or link for forwarding the email – I won’t name the email provider (big free email company) but it is a giant sin in the professional email marketing industry to not have a “forward this email” option built into a template as the default. (Surely, they didn’t remove it!?)
  • There is NO “join our list” button! If  I take the initiative and manually forward this email, there is no way for people to sign-up for email updates? This is a huge crack in the foundation of marketing.

Not growing an email list is more than just shortsighted. When people find your site let them stay connected! If they voluntarily join your list, this is a golden list indeed! They want to stay informed.  Without a sign-up this is all disconnected and the site is useless to the consumers.

This new company is missing opportunities. Emails let them push information out to interested people. Facebook simply doesn’t reach nor affect sales like emails do. Emails are 40 times more affective than Facebook and Twitter combined at gaining customers.

Unfortunately, if the next email is anything like this one, this important and truly special product may never get to market. Kickstarter is a no-nonsense and expensive way to launch. It takes real strategy to pull off. This email, and lack of cohesiveness with their website and Facebook, show a true lack of a marketing ability and a significant lack of understanding the basics of email campaigns.

I hope they at least consult with a marketing expert before they sign-up for Kickstarter. The world needs this product.


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