Stop Sending Those %*&#@!! Emails!

Here’s a sure-fire way to turn off prospects: Send them unwanted emails that blatantly and shamelessly sell your products.

You know the ones I mean: they come from Printer XYZ and tout things like “Brochures 50% Off!” or “Flyer Special through Friday Only!”

They masquerade as email newsletters, but are nothing of the kind. They are loud, obnoxious sales pitches with no character, no personality and no value, especially to corporate and agency print buyers.

Every time I get one, I scroll down posthaste to the “Unsubscribe” button and rid my inbox of such junk forever (hopefully; God help you if you don’t unsubscribe me).

Don’t commercial printers have enough of a group identity crisis without some of you stooping to this kind of junk mail tactic? This stuff is a black mark against all commercial printers.

It also cracks me up when the email says, “To Our Valued Customer” — and I am NOT a customer.

Email marketing should be strategic, professional, sincere, informational, interesting and by-permission-only. If your email campaigns to prospective or current print customers are not all of these, they are spam.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit or e-mail Margie at
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  • http://PatrickWhelan Patrick Whelan

    You NAILED it Margie. It can’t be stressed enough. If it isn’t meaningful, it isn’t effective. Even worse, your wasting your customers’ or prospects’ time. Meaningful communications not only build your brand but they also foster sales relationships. We’ve been providing these programs to printers for years! Regards,

  • http://BrianRegan Brian Regan

    Nice post Dana. You can also apply the logic to all the Twitter accounts printers have now. So many of them are simply posting discounts and hey, come buy 500 of this for a 20% discount.

    Has got to be a better way.

  • http://JohnKypriotakis John Kypriotakis

    To our valued (no name) customer… Classic!

    Nice post – whether a printer or not, sending such email correspondence just lowers the perception the recipient has of you and your organization.

    Take time to personalize and make relevant… what a concept!

  • http://AndrewField Andrew Field

    You are absolutely correct. Yelling at people with frequent and obnoxious emails is just spam. And using Twitter to troll for people who mention “print” and then throwing a discount at them cheapens all of us who provide print and other services to our customers. Plus, that kind of spammy stuff is just plain BORING.

    By contrast, at PFL we get a handful of “thank you” notes each month when we send out our newsletter. We try to fill it with useful information for our SMB customers. Recent examples:

    On Twitter, we mostly showcase fun (or funny) things our customers do:

  • printingwatch

    Nice post Margie Dana. So many companies are simply posting discounts and hey, come buy of this for a discount. Has got to be a better way.