From Anne R. Allen’s Blog:
The latest trend in online marketing is building a “personal relationship” with customers and readers. Sending newsy emails about your fab summer vacation isn’t enough anymore. Now you have to ask them about their fab summer vacations.
This is supposed to let readers know you really care about them.
Speaking as a reader, that would be a…not so much.
I read lots of books. Do I want all those authors clogging my inbox, trying to be my BFF? Nope. Not even if it’s Margaret Atwood. If she really cares about me, she’ll write another book, not have a virtual assistant send me a faux-friendly email.
As an author, it all makes me want to cry. How can a working author find time to be pen pals with thousands of readers—even with robotic help?
. . . .
In this current marketing scenario, the author/vendor offers a bribe, like a free ebook (called a “reader magnet”) in exchange for a potential customer’s information. (And recently many vendors have dropped the freebie, and the “magnet” is simply the privilege of entering a website.)
Once they’ve got your deets, they’ll hammer you into a “personal” relationship with their robots whether you want it or not.
. . . .
The plan goes like this: once you’re on the hook, the author or vendor sends an immediate automated email that asks friendly questions like:
- What books do you read?
- Where do you live?
- What do you like to do?
- Yoga? And when are your classes?
- Oh, so you’re out of the house on Tuesday evenings between 7 and 9?
- Where do you keep your valuables?
Kidding aside, not everybody feels warm and fuzzy when asked personal questions by complete strangers. The line between “friendly” and “invasion of privacy” can be a thin one. When you cross it, you are going to have less than positive results.
. . . .
And somehow unsubscribing takes weeks, if it happens at all. (I still get emails addressed to “Dear Unsubscribe Me You Morons.”)
And unsubscribers are also subjected to a major guilt trip. “Where did we go wrong?” one site asks if you try to leave. Or you have to hit a button that says: “I’m not interested in becoming a published author,” or “I prefer to remain ignorant.”
Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog