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I received an email a couple of days ago from someone I don’t believe I know. He has the flash title of Head of Customer Engagement, at a company called nearmap. It started as follows:

Hi Malcolm,

I hope that you’re well.

I tried call earlier this week and your front desk asked me to send this email. As your company attended ADMA and so did we; I wanted to bring the below to your attention with a 20% discount and the first 3 months unlimited data package.

While I appreciate the sentiment about my health, the paragraph is a complete fantasy and almost illiterate.

Hello! I Hope You Are Well And Happy

I guess he uses spell checker – “I tried call”, as against “I tried to call” or “I tried calling”. Regardless, I did not get any call earlier in the week, as I don’t have a land line, only a mobile. And like everyone else with a mobile I can track my calls.

hello

More significantly, as I currently work from a home office, I do not have a front desk – let alone one that can speak. And I’ve never known any sort of furniture that can communicate like humans. Are there some sort of new digital desks with the ability to answer phone calls, manage diaries and send emails? Look out human receptionists.

The next sentence intrigued me as well. He says my company attended ADMA. My company? Does that include the amazing talking furniture, the files, computers, bookkeeper, accountant and other staff? Did we all front-up to the office of ADMA’s CEO and hang out?

If as I assume, he means I attended the ADMA Forum, his small data is corrupt. I didn’t attend this year. But I’m pleased he did and hope it helped his customer engagement.

As for my attendance being the reason he “wanted to bring the below to your attention with a 20% discount and the first 3 months unlimited data package” I have no idea what the statement means. And the rest of the email gave me no clues either.

I won’t bore you dear reader with the rest of the message. Suffice to say the majority of it talked about his company. There was no attempt to determine if I was even a prospect. And there was no other mention of the “20% discount and 3 months unlimited data package”.

no-discount

Though there was one sentence that peaked my curiosity and had me concerned I wasn’t up with my acronyms and jargon:

“Our PhotoMaps are served straight to your web browser via our website or alternatively via our WMS to use directly within your CAD/GIS as a mapping layer.”

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to drop a reference to GIS or WMS into a conversation, though I’m sure I will find a way?

He finished with: “Looking forward to hearing your thoughts so that we can set up a call to go through a full demo.”

Even that final sentence defies logic. Set up a call to go through a full demo? Is the demo over the phone? Is it a video call? Do we have to set up a call to set up the demo while on the call?

looking forward

If this is the quality of direct marketing in the digital world, then we may as well give up now. You cannot build a business using lies. At least if you are going to lie, make an attempt to write with some clarity, so your message has some chance of being read.

Maybe our schools are to blame? You only have to mark a few university assignments to realise the literacy problems throughout our education system.

illiteracy

Of course the real question has to be where did he get my email address – I doubt ADMA would be giving away contact details without permission? And given I didn’t attend how could I be on their list of delegates?

Regardless, how does somebody with a job title of Head of Customer Engagement, get away with this appalling communication? It’s no wonder content marketing is getting such a high profile.

Just write stuff, don’t ask for the order and business will take care of itself.

I wonder if the Head of the Company knows how the business is engaging customers? Does anyone even care anymore?

keep-calm-and-don-t-care-anymore-2

I can’t wait for the omni-channel follow-up…