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When personalizing backfires…? Why you should always email the truth

by | Nov 22, 2019 | Latest

So I just saw this in my inbox, and apart from the clickbait-y headline, Gmail showed me the first few lines.

I was intrigued. I didn’t remember this person. How could they be talking about me? (highlighted)

And so, yes, it worked. I opened the email.

And instantly realized it wasn’t real. They didn’t know me. It was some slick marketing copy.

Now, perhaps kudos to them for pricking my ego and curiosity.

But it didn’t work.

It’s like that moment in high school when the attractive person seems to be waving to you from across the room. You smile and wave back, and then the school jock brushes past, waving too. You just want to melt, and probably feel embarrased and even angry. You just looked dumb.

Same thing.

This email made me feel dumb.

So now I don’t care what it was they had to say. Or what they promised. They tried to personalize something, and didn’t make me a closer friend. They just alienated me.

All that strikes me as a really good lesson into writing really personal emails, and keeping things truthful.

Don’t lie.

This is 2020. Our BS filters are way up in overdrive. Trip that filter, and get tuned out.

Any stories on your end where personalizing went wrong?

So what do you think? Leave a comment.

PS: Who’s one person you know would like to read this post? Can you share it with them? Thanks!

Dominic de Souza is a novelist-turned-marketer. He believes that passionate small businesses should stop with ads and funnels, and get back to the human roots of business: clarity, excellent service, and building a community. Everything you’re already good at.  Meet Dominic →

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