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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Opinions on "unsolicited" email and letters?

I got into a discussion today with some friends about marketing through email and mail letters. My question was... is an email written to an individual/business who's listed their email address in a home builder's directory considered spam? I can see one side saying b/c they voluntarily list their info knowing the information is distributed mostly to other members, they consent to being contacted for business purposes. I also see the other side saying they're probably being emailed to death and might not be so receptive of your brand if you participate in that type of marketing.

But what better place to get the opinions that count than this forum?

For contractors, builders, or anyone who hires subs... how receptive are you to getting emails targeted towards you from local subs who are advertising their product service? Do you take the time to open those emails? Would you rather receive US postal mail with a brochure?

For subs, what have your experiences been like with email and mailings?

My training of thought was if you add value to your email or letter advertisement, making it informational at the same time, then the recipient doesn't feel like he's been given the hard sell. And it creates a talking point beyond your product or service.

The 3rd technique would be calling/physical meeting but again my 1st thought is that this is more "annoying", least to me it is, than being able to consider an email/letter and making my own decision to contact someone, but I guess it depends on your personality as well.

Would appreciate getting opinions on this...
 

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Sponge
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175 Posts
Not really. LOL
As long as you are targeting them and offering your services for review, then it is ok. I get email from guys and then will call them up.
It is the better than calling busy people on the phone, then they hate you for waising their time.

I have a good emailing company for this.
 

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Interior Renovations
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253 Posts
Right now I have an extremely limited marketing budget. My business is just starting out and I just spent money to develop a website, print nice business cards and post cards, get a few company shirts, etc...I plan to mail post cards to a select number of companies I feel I have a shot at doing business with. The rest are going to get emails. I found them all on business directories so I dont fell that bad about it. And Ive gotten work from sending unsolicited emails before...I personally would rather get a hard copy of something instead of an email. Something like a business card or a brochure. In the future I plan on using this approach, but until I get a little bit of cash its emails only...
 

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Banned
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356 Posts
If you want to see how bad unsolicited spam is... Go to craigslist and just type an empty service post with an e-mail address on it and see how many e-mails you get the next day that start with...

HEY,

I was browsing CL and saw your post...

No one who really wants to ask you a question or needs your services writes like that.

Don't post your e-mail address on anything but your business card. If they want to talk to you they can use the phone!

Speaking of which I still have a couple of e-mails on there since I just blocked 8 CL Spams before I came here.
 

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Painter/Rehaber
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399 Posts
Send me a postcard that is easy to read with only important details and contact information. If I am interested I will set your info aside.

Unsolicited e-mail gets deleted and advertisement that I have to open goes into the garbage.
 

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Registered
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285 Posts
Thoughts:

If it is unsolicited, 'mass' (even to a specific group) and is selling something, it approaches the level of spam.

But if you give something, the story is a little different. In other words,ifyou share something useful, of intrinsic value, without a selling message, you are okay.

So we might offer a free subscription to our trade journals; or send readers a link that offers opportunities (yes, sometimes we get word of jobs and then let people know about it); Sometimes (about once a year or so), I might send out a survey -- this is getting as close to borderline as I feel comfortable going.

One way around this issue is to look at the list, do some homework, and truly personalize the communication. Then you are selling more on a one-to-one level, and that of course is not spam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was thinking of personalized emails, part of it will be the same for everyone but the opening line will be unique along with being personally addressed to them. I like your tip of offering something of value in the email, that whether or not they do business with us they could still benefit from.
 

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Has anyone else noticed a rise in email advertisements lately?

I'm getting a ton more emails from everyone trying to sell insurance or a truck etc., it's all construction related so I know they are probably targeting my business, but why the sudden increase?
 

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Since the email address is publicly listed you won't get in trouble for spam. However your rate that someone will open the email is slim and even smaller as to getting a response.

If you are going to email people you really need to have their permission. Even then it is fairly hard to get people to open the email.

Your best bet for sending something is to use postcards. They are unobtrusive they get read and they are pretty cheap!

Good luck.
 

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Banned
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Sending bulk email advertising is not always spam.

Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services.

If I were to create an email list of a thousand general contractors and send an email to every contractor looking for work, I would not consider this spam because the message is legitimate and these contractors are likely to welcome my request. I am not forcing the contractor to open an email by using bogus titles.

I use an inexpensive program called Atomic Email for sending hundreds of email messages.
 

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Nest Home Improvement
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890 Posts
Your best results will be in building an email list from people that want to hear from you and who subscribe to your emails. Sending out emails to the masses just gets your message deleted.

Use an email management and marketing program like VerticalResponse or ConstantContact to help manage your cultivated lists (they both offer Free Trials). These programs cost just pennies, allow others to subscribe to your emails, gives the ability to send emails and track what happens to the email you sent (was it opened, bounced, deleted, unsubscribed etc). I favor VR and use it to send helpful home improvement tips to customers and prospective customers that subscribe to my free newsletter at www.housefixer.info

The key here is getting to people to want to subscribe to your emails. If you offer discounts, special offers, useful information and the like. You will at least begin to attract subscribers. Giving the ability to have visitors subscribe to your email on your website is also key.
 

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Finish Carpenter
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4,999 Posts
.......I just recently pulled some local interior designers out of a directory and basically said, hey, here I am, I am local and a trim carpenter....no idea what it will turn back, if anything. I am trying to interact more with local businesses....

Is it spam?
 
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