When Lead Gen Get’s in the Way of a Good Cause. 7 Lessons for Chevy & MLB.

I love baseball and I coach baseball and I’m a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Recently I received an email from Pirates.com asking me to vote for pitcher Chris Resop for the Roberto Clemente Award which annually goes out to one player in major league baseball who selflessly gives back to the community. It’s a very prestigious award.  It was nice to see that Chris was being nominated since my son holds Roberto Clemente in very high esteem, and Chris’s father happens to also coach my daughter.

So why am I telling you about this?

Let’s look at the initial email that I received.

Seems pretty harmless and it’s an email that goes out to all subscribers of Pirates.com.  So when I go to vote for Chris, I am taken to the following landing page below. The first part of this is what you would actually see above the fold.  Which is poorly designed I might add.

But then, as I went to fill out the form, I’m greeted with the following:

Right in the middle of the form…

  • When do I expect to purchase or lease?
  • Please indicate the Chevy vehicle I want to learn more about?
  • I would like to receive further email communications from Chevy.

What tha?

I don’t remember this having to be part of voting for the Roberto Clemente Award.  I also notice that I have no choice but to answer the questions in order to vote for Chris Resop. So if I don’t want to use this form, do I really want to take the time and effort to “look” for a work around? What if I want my 12 year old son to vote? I don’t even know if he likes Chevy’s yet!

What can Chevy and MLB learn?

  1. You have to give people options when filling voluntary information out that’s only relevant to Chevy.
  2. Know who you’re sending emails to. Know your audience. Surely MLB and Chevy have  pretty decent CRM systems.
  3. Know that sometimes the primary focus doesn’t have to be on lead generation.  Think about the cause here.
  4. The devil is in the details, and the details were poor and misleading.
  5. The form will invariably bring back bad information of people who really don’t care about a Chevy, they just wanted to vote.  You have forced bad or misleading information into a system and have corrupted the data.
  6. You’ve tainted a good cause with large assumptions.
  7. Add a social component on the email and the web page for crying out loud.

I hate to say it, but this is a case study on bad email marketing. Hopefully this email didn’t go out to 20 million people; and wait till I tell Chris Resop’s dad about this!

The difference between Facebook and Twitter

I just read a blog post about Twitter Surpassing Facebook as the top link in E-mail marketing campaigns and that got me wondering why. But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If I’m a marketer or large company and I know that my intrusive and possibly NOT opt-in, much less  double opt-in email is not being read; and I want the recipient to grab something-what is easier? What social link might they click on?



Or Facebook?


Both ultimately satisfy and both are going to give the reader of the email the info they are hoping for. Information about you and your company. But the difference is Twitter is a snapshot about culture, beliefs, thoughts and opinions. While Facebook is a movie. Facebook is what happens after we have talked on the phone and have decided to meet.

For the  email marketer, you have only a certain amount of time to get the attention of your prospect. What can they hit quicker? Twitter or Facebook? What will give them the quickest return? Will it give you a higher conversion rate? Hard to say. But at least it gives you the chance to pitch one more time. And hopefully your Twit stream is a bit more robust and useful than what some marketers seem to think Twitter is best used for. Take more time to develop out a solid Twitter presence. Don’t ignore Facebook but understand the difference between the two as marketing vehicles.

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Thinking of marketing to Gen X’ers? Do it!

 Hey all of you marketing folks out there. Consider the numbers below:

— 62 percent say they live paycheck to paycheck.

— 56 percent have an outstanding credit-card balance of $3,000 or more.

— 62 percent of women say they have not bought any investment products.

— 45 percent of women would buy 30 pairs of shoes before saving $30,000 in retirement assets.

— 65 percent of women and 48 percent of men said they do not know how a mutual fund works.

— Nearly 65 percent did not know that when interest rates go up bond prices typically go down.

— 38 percent of women have not started saving for retirement

If they aren’t investing in their future, then they must be investing in something right? How about themselves? Face it Gen X’ers are saddled with the same thing they were tagged with 10 years ago. That all they cared about was themselves. So what has changed? Nothing and the above numbers prove that out.

So if you’re a direct marketer, an email marketer, or any type of marketer, forget about the Baby Boomers for a minute and consider this audience.  They are living for today and tomorrow can wait. How much is that iphone again? and can I get that in leather?

Boomers might kick the tires, but the Gen X’ers will want the tires with the 17 inch rims.

Viral Email Marketing, Why does it work?

In an attempt to show you the power of viral email marketing, I present one of the funniest emails I’ve ever read. Behold:

Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife’s grandfather.  While my wife’s brother and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:


A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It’s not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels


 Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:


There’s plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I’m not going to bore you with that. Instead, I’m going to bore you with something else. The clothes. The clothes are fantastic.

Here’s how to get your butt kicked in elementary school: 4.jpg

Just look at that belt. It’s like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here’s how to get your butt kicked in high school: 5.jpg

This kid looks like he’s pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here’s how to get your butt kicked on the golf course: 6.jpg

This ‘all purpose jumpsuit’ is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can’t see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block.

Here’s how to get your butt kicked pretty much anywhere:


If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob ‘No-pants’ Saget has his hand in the other guy’s pocket. In this case, he doesn’t, although you can tell just by looking at them that it’s happened – or if it hasn’t happened it will. Oh yes. It will. As soon as he puts down his matching coffee cup.

Here’s how to get your butt kicked at the beach:
He looks like he’s reaching for a gun, but you know it’s probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your butt kicked in a meeting:
If you wear this suit and don’t sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you’d be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.  

How to get your butt kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick’s Day10.jpg Dear god in heaven, I don’t believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you’re working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.In this next one, Your Search For VALUE Ends at Penneys11.jpg

As does your search for chest hair.And this — Seriously. No words.
Oh wait, it turns out that there are words after all. Those words are What. The. H*** . I’m guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his/hers outfits, I’m guessing that in 1977 it was considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike. These couples look happy, don’t they?

I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled ‘Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best.’

And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and a blonde girl with a look on her face that says ‘I love the way you fit into that.’

Then, after the lovin’, you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:

 could go on, but I’m tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it’s the colors. That said, I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:


Man, that’s sexy.

So as you can see how the viral nature of email marketing works, I will send this on and so on and so forth. What are some of the most popular viral emails ever sent? Why does it work? Because it’s funny. Period.