Have you ever had a good idea that went “south” faster than a Nolan Ryan fastball?
If not, then you are not doing enough of whatever it is you are doing. If failure is the fastest way to success, (which I have been known to say), I am fast on my way to the top shelf. A few days ago I thought I had a good idea. As it turned out…I didn’t.
Let me share my faux pas with you.
I’m sitting at my desk on a Friday afternoon…thinking. The idea flashes into my mind that if people are simply reminded of somebody they trust, this simple reminder will spur them on to action.
Kind of a cause and effect routine. In this case, the reminder would come as a simple email with one simple phrase…an email address. (Mine)
No fluff. No idle chatter. Just a single email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The implied unwritten, uncluttered message…“Remember me?” I just administered a gentle whack in the head anticipating nothing but good things to follow.
I then got a little too clever. In the subject line I printed the letters F-O-M thinking that my friends would ask me what the letters stood for. They didn’t. (FOM = friends of Mike)
What happened next? Not much. Very few responded and many opted off my list.
Go figure! When analyzing my miscue I saw that my email looked like SPAM and even worse, took the appearance of an unwanted virus in the making. (I don’t blame anybody from wanting “off” my list.)
This is affectionately known in the business as “Shooting yourself in the foot.”
The lessons were numerous.
Lesson #1: Emails need to be appropriately “Subject-ed” and quickly explained up front…in the first sentence or two. Keep “cute” out of your business vocabulary.
The DELETE button has become the most popular button on a keyboard.
Lesson #2: When you begin boring yourself on a Friday afternoon, it may be in your best interest to log off and start your weekend early. Go mow the lawn.
Lesson #3: If you want to purge your database, send your list an email like mine.
Lesson #4: If you don’t have any blunders of your own to share, perhaps you need to exit your comfort zone now and then. The wake-up call you receive is far more valuable than remaining in your cocoon, staying safe and cozy thinking that everybody loves you.
There you have it. Lessons from a guy who is supposed to know better. Now, go out there and make a few of your own mistakes while I sit here uncomfortably licking my wounds.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at email@example.com.
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