Marketing and promotion is important for every website – after all, if nobody knows about you, how can you expect people to find your site? One way to inform people about your website is through the use of individual, personalised emails – for example, if I find someone asking questions about building a forum I may drop them an email notifying them of the existence of this blog. Recently, I received a promotional email that was wrong from start to finish.
Example of a poor promotional email
The email I received is shown below:
I have been on the JustChat website and have found an excellent site where you can find out about upgrading the chat software to offer intergration, better features etc
Maybe worth looking at, its <URL REMOVED>
I believe forums can intergrate with live chat rooms
The sender of this email made the following mistakes:
- They failed to address me by my name – easily found with a little research.
- They do not appear to have looked at my website – Just Chat is not about chat software; it is an online community!
- Poor grammar and spelling – if you want to appear professional, this matters.
- They do not declare their interest in the site they are promoting – don’t make out you are promoting a site out of the good of your heart; be honest and people will be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Ensure your site can close the sales process
Even if you sell nothing on your website, you are still looking for a sale. When you send a promotional email, you are selling the benefits of your site. If your promotional email is great, you will encourage the reader to visit your site. If your site stinks, the time you spent writing that email will have been wasted. Your website must be able to satisfy the expectations you have raised in your email and preferably exceed them.
When I checked out the website being advertised to me, I saw the following pages (click to enlarge):
You should never, ever publish a website before it is ready (I say ‘ready’ because as you should know, a website is never truly finished). A website with pages that simply state ‘Under Construction’ will frustrate a visitor and ensure they never visit your website again. Even worse than publishing a website before it is ready is promoting a site before it is ready. Why waste the time promoting a site that has no content?
Because I have not wanted to promote the website I am using as an example on this blog, I have not mentioned the site name or URL. I will tell you though, that basically this site was full of affiliate links to chat and message board software. You would think therefore, that it was in the publisher’s interest to at least offer working demos of each product!
After reading this article, I hope you have learnt the following:
- Never publish a website before it is ready
- Never promote a website before it is ready
- Do your research before sending promotional emails
I would also like to remind you all to never, ever send mass emails without permission. If your site gets a reputation of being associated with spam, you will find it extremely hard to shake off.
Do you send promotional emails? Do you send them on an individual or mass-email basis? Have you made any of the mistakes I have mentioned? Share your thoughts and opinions on this article by leaving a comment below.