Poor Yash Khanna.
Or, I should say, $3,000 poorer Yash Khanna.
Dr. Khanna wants you to attend his “Polymers & Plastics in Medical Applications” conference in Las Vegas on Feb. 29.
And don’t get me wrong, if you have anything to do with medical device manufacturing and engineering, you should probably attend.
But Yash completely wasted his money when he paid $3,000 for his email blast.
This effort was SO bad, in fact, shame on you, Mr. Publisher, for even letting it out the door!
As a direct marketer early in my career, I learned a successful mailing is due to three factors:
1. List (40 percent), who you are mailing;
2. Offer (40 percent), what’s ‘in it’ for the prospect; and,
3. Creative (20 percent), how the offer is presented.
Lets assume Yash rented the best list on the market.
Give him full credit = 40 percent there!
I’m not in love with the offer (a conference to help you and your company) because the prospective attendees:
- Need permission and a budget to attend (Yash offers no benefits to those who cannot physically attend);
- Need to be available for at least four days (including travel time);
- Need to believe the information and connections are not available elsewhere. (Yash had better do an excellent job communicating this with the remaining 20 percent, the creative.)
It’s easier to get a conversion (a prospect indicating interest) with a smaller request.
If I were Yash, I might have offered “Would you like my free white paper” instead of “Would you commit now to a $1,300 conference you hadn’t heard about before you got this email.”
Let’s give Yash 20 percent out of 40 for “the offer.” This is subjective, of course, but this is my blog post! Go write your own! <chuckles at his own joke>
How spectacularly did Yash fail with the creative? Let me count the ways.
1. The Subject Line. The subject line is, by far, the most important part of any email.
Yash blew it. Big time. This is what I saw in my inbox.
Hotel Discount Ends JAN 27?
I’m thinking, SPAM!
What is this? I didn’t order a hotel room. I don’t have any travel planned so why do I need a hotel room?!
2. The Subject Line. Yash’s subject line is so bad it deserves two places on the no-no list.
The whole subject line (which I could not see) is actually:
Hotel Discount Ends JAN 27: Medical Device Polymers & Plastics, Las Vegas, FEB 29-March 2, 2012
That’s 95 characters – more than twice the average number of characters. Test after test show shorter email lines outperform longer ones.
3. Who’s It From? Second only to the subject line is “who is this from?”
Well, in this case, the email is from your friend “Medical.” You remember “Medical,” from 76th Street? We used to go to Pete’s Pizzeria after school. Great guy, that “Medical.”
4. Who’s It To? Presumably, it’s to you, right?
Not in this case.
No, here “Medical” emailed himself (I’m assuming Medical is a boy). You have been blind-copied. So have untold other thousands of people.
Which reminds me, Seth Godin (whom I partially credit for helping me get my 1800FLOWERS.COM job in 1999) defines spam as anything that is not Anticipated, Relevant, and Personal.
It’s safe to say: Blind-copying me on my own message is not personal.
Another demerit? This email, from someone I don’t know, was sent with “High Importance.” Important to Medical, perhaps, not to me. I’m not sure how I feel about the PDF attachment, either.
5. Could Not Reply! In the miracle that was me looking for more information, I got a bounceback!
Note to self: When sending out tens of thousands of emails, be ready to reply.
6. A BIG FAT MESS! With four different fonts and at least four different colors and highlights!
He also used underlines, another no-no. Readers might mistake them for clickable hyperlinks.
I really, really wish I were making this up. The next image is un-retouched. The only thing I did was take out sections so the length would be smaller.
Could I go on about other choices Yash made on this email? Of course I could.
Could we talk about the landing page for his offer? Yes. But I won’t. Not now.
We all suffered enough today, but not as much as Yash’s wallet.
Epilogue: Lest you think me a horrible person for calling out Yash so mercilessly here, Yash knew about the post and was very good-natured about it. We hope this post does more to promote the “Polymers & Plastics in Medical Applications” conference in Las Vegas on Feb. 29 than his email did!
So do Yash a favor. Click on his conference link and consider going. His content will be much stronger than his marketing effort; I can promise you that!