I received an email from someone I respect. It was for a webinar on a very intriguing issue around Digital Transformation. Since I respect this individual and he had an interesting panel of guest speakers, I decide I would sign up for it.
I filled the enrollment form, and was about to hit the “Enroll” button. I noticed the “sponsors” for the webinar. I knew what would happen, the moment I hit the “enroll” button. I hesitated, thinking, “Is this webinar likely to be so good that I am voluntarily opening myself to the onslaught the follows when I hit enter?”
Against my better judgment, I submitted my enrollment.
You can guess what happened in the next 30 seconds.
I got an email from each of the sponsors. Each was nearly identical, “Thanks for your interest in our company!”
Not a single email referred to the webinar I enrolled in.
Each email followed the same format, “Our company is the market leader in these solutions…. Here are some links to learn more about our products….” Then the final link was a sign-up link for a demo.
Nothing in any of the emails referred to Digital Transformation, or the intriguing aspects that were being discussed in the webinar. Each was about them and their products.
The webinar is in two weeks. So I know I’ll get a lot of follow up emails from each of the sponsors, “Here’s more information about our products, can we talk, can we schedule a demo?”
I’m annoyed, but I’ve already set a filter to ignore their emails.
I’m not interested in their companies or their products. I’m interested in the topic and content of the webinar.
I’m always interested in these autoresponder email messages. I’ve already given them an indication of something I’m very interested in. I was interested enough to sign up for a webinar, or to download a white paper, or to look at a research report.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to engage me in a discussion about that thing that I’ve expressed interest in? Perhaps talking about something I have expressed interest in would lead to a discussion about how those issues connect to them and what they sell.
It seems pretty easy and obvious, but no one does it.
Instead, they talk about what about themselves and what they are interested in. They never make an attempt to bridge o my interest.
I’ve stopped downloading white paper from a very large CRM vendor. I can set my watch on the voicemail and emails I receive. And they are all the same. They never refer to what I downloaded (also, It hasn’t finished downloading when I get the first call, so I haven’t even had a chance to open it.). It’s always, “Thanks for your interest in our company, can I talk to you about your CRM systems?” Ironically, we are already a customer, but they don’t seem to know that.
It seems so fundamental to start the conversation with the customer/prospect by talking about what they are interested in. But 95% of the time, that never happens.
What am I missing?