Here’s A Terrible Email Newsletter. From A Silicon Valley Company.

A colleague of mine recently received this email from SV Forum.

Sorry SV Forum, but this is a terrible piece of communication. Here’s why:

“Connect. Engage. Excel” is way too generic
This is a classic case of what happens when marketers sit around a table defining their value proposition, rather than asking their customers to define it for them. Sounds like something Accenture would put on a Powerpoint with a picture of Tiger Woods.

Would have been much better to use “Fostering Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Leadership”, which is what their website says.

“Like us on Facebook” is a wasted call to action on an email
When you have a prospect’s email address (and they’ve opted-in to receive your newsletter), there is no incremental value in having them like you on Facebook. Would a retailer tell its regular customers to go browse the window display in the street? Email is further down the funnel than social media and should be treated that way.

And a word on giveaways: They’re a great idea but if you want to get results, you HAVE to state what the value is. A free membership to SVForum is worth $120/year. That’s real bacon.

Information Overload is burying the value
There are 13(!) bullet points in the email. Whatever value there may be is completely buried under a word wall. A far more effective approach would be whittle it down to the top 3 benefits, for example:

  • FREE access to 125 industry networking events per year
  • EXCLUSIVE access to our member community
  • SAVE up to 60% on services from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and O’Reilly
Posted in Email Marketing