About a year or so ago, I wrote an article called The Golden Nuggets of Negative Feedback. It was in that article that I stated, “When those people who dislike our sites are willing to tell us why they won’t be back, it is then that we can take that negative feedback to find out what elements we’ve been overlooking.”
Recently I received a very tactful email complaining about something I had sent out on my email newsletter. As I read it, I was reminded of some of the core values that I’ve spent so much time promoting on this blog…some values that I had started to let slip. Let me share with you an excerpt from that email.
You are a very important part of my daily blogger reading, but I received an automated email from you called “your discount is expiring” (referring to marketing samurai). I understand monetizing yourself – lord knows I am on the same path – but whenever I receive a crappy non-html email telling me to hurry up, it makes me want to run the other way. Everything else you do is so Ultra Classy – Can I convince you to ditch this hardsell stuff?
When I received the email, it actually made me smile. She was exactly right. Here I was attempting to promote a product in a way that I would never have done a few months ago. It was a good reminder that certain approaches to marketing remove the humanity from our online experiences. I was reminded of an article that Chris Brogan wrote several years ago on the principle of being human at a distance.
So here I am, publicly apologizing for my robotic approach to my newsletter. I’ve since removed all of the auto-responders related to that product. I may someday add some back, but you can guarantee that they’ll be casual, personal expressions of my faith in a product. It won’t be a canned, high-pressure sales pitch. I’ve learned that lesson…thanks to your feedback.
Here is an excerpt from my email response to this complaint:
Thanks for the feedback on that…because of your feedback, I’ve decided to discontinue those. I sure appreciate your refreshing honesty. Thanks so much for letting me know.
I would love to here your thoughts on this. I’m sure that you’ve all seen pushy salesman before either online or offline. How did they make you feel? Did you purchase their product? If you did, did you have buyer’s remorse afterwards? What can we do to keep ourselves in check in regards to being human at a distance and not robotic, impersonal marketers?
I’d like to conclude by thanking you all for your feedback and for often teaching me far more than I imagine I teach you. Thank you.