Jordan Ogren

December 1, 2021

Public enemy #1 for marketing.

Dear valued subscriber,

I wanted to inform you of…

How did you feel reading that? Did you feel valued and special?

Me neither.

Why, then, do companies start their emails out with valued {i.e., customer}?

It’s a consistent issue within marketing. 

When you think about marketing, you think from the marketing side of the table. Unfortunately, few have the mental agility to switch seats and ask what they would like as a customer or prospect.

This bleeds through in corporate blogs that subtly touch on their product ad nauseam. Or in social media posts where there is little to no focus on the audience.

To overcome this, I suggest writing this on a sticky note and putting it on your laptop:

“How would I respond to this marketing?”

And then on the backside:

“No, really. How would I respond to this?”

At a minimum, this will give you a pause to reanalyze whatever it is you’re going to “ship.” In addition, this helps you think more critically about it.

At a maximum, this will get you in the crucial habit of thinking like a marketer and a human who receives marketing. You then let this drive your thinking and decisions.

While this example may seem notional (i.e., dear valued X), the point is that 90% of marketing is stuff we, the marketeer, would never respond to.

A final note on how to improve the opening example: If you do not have the person’s name, use “Hey there!” or as Ann Handley does in her newsletter, “Hi, friend.”

Anything is better than a generic statement like valued customer or appreciated partner.

Marketeer Insights ⚔️
  • NEVER begin your email or marketing material with “Dear valued {X}” 
  • When marketing, put on the shoes of the desired recipient and ask whether you would react to the marketing you’re about to ship
  • Get honest about what you’re creating. Delusions are the most prominent enemy to effective marketing

🧠 + ❤️ // JO

P.S. Here is the email that spurred this content:

Sounder email.png