The other day I received an unsolicited and not very personalized email from Microsoft on behalf of a client of mine.
This client is a household name and brings in over a billion dollars a year in revenue, so not a small fry by any means. Surely a brand this big is working with an agency, so why would Microsoft send over a generic unsolicited email talking about optimization without giving any specifics as to how they can help?
I understand that the person who sent this email to me is probably a newer employee of Microsoft and trying to make sense of the hundreds to thousands of accounts that they were assigned, so I don't put any blame on them at all. They most likely automated their email send to make sure that they at least made contact with the thousands of advertisers that they were assigned in order to meet their job expectations.
But the email isn't really saying anything. Here is what I thought as I read the email:
This email says a lot without saying anything. Most of these elements in the email are items that they should already know about the account, and the constant bolding of Bing Ads takes my attention completely away from the rest of the message. I know that you are with Bing Ads, but your constant emphasis is polluting your actual message.
This isn't just a Microsoft problem. Over the years I have gotten unsolicited optimization emails from all of the major search engines.
Google Automated Optimization Email
I can't help but read in between the lines with their email as well:
This type of outreach email is insulting to an agency owner who has managed over $20 million in spend with Google and Microsoft to date. You should know me by now both by amount of spend managed and through our account details.
At least when I receive a spam email I know that they don't know enough about me to be targeted (thankfully!) Google and Microsoft should know just about everything about me!
Yahoo is Always on Vacation
And then there is Yahoo. Over the years I have had more Yahoo Search Marketing account managers than I can count. On average, every 3 months I would get introduced to a new account manager who would make a half-hearted attempt to introduce themselves.
But more often than not, the representatives would only email me when they were going to be unavailable. I can't tell you how frustrating it can be when that happens. It's great that you are proactive with your vacation, but why aren't you proactive with how to improve our account?
What are PPC Optimization Emails Going to Accomplish?
So what exactly is being accomplished by these emails? In my opinion, very little. I understand that the search marketing industry has grown tremendously in the past 10+ years and that it may often be difficult to provide great support to all advertisers. At the same time, these companies do know when clients are managed by an agency.
Rather than sending a vague one size fits all message to everyone, why not personalize the email and provide value right away? Search engines know just about everything about a client, their accounts and their agency managers, so why not include this information in the introduction.
An Example of a Great PPC Optimization Email Outreach
If it were my job to send an outreach email, it would look like this:
Dear Jeffalytics, <– First name is key
We really enjoy having you as an advertiser with [Microsoft|Google|Yahoo] and hope that you enjoy working us as well. <– make them feel wanted
My name is [agent name] and my role here at [Microsoft|Google|Yahoo] is to make sure that you are getting the most business value out of our platform. <– let them know you serve them
We know that your agency [Agency Name] is doing a great job managing your accounts, but we wanted to let you know that we may also be able to help you with performance improvements. <– you know the agency name from MCC data
For example, we believe that you can [Spend|Reduce|Bid] your [Campaign Name] Campaign by up to [Percentage Increase] by making a few simple changes. <- prove you did your homework (even if it's automated)
I would like to arrange for a time to discuss these change with you or [Agency Name] at your earliest convenience. <- we know you hired an agency because you are busy, so we are fine working with them directly
Let us know which you'd prefer. For a full list of services we offer, please view our [dedicated website explaining our services]. <- everything you ever needed to know about our services is on that page
[Real Persons name]
[Real Persons phone number]
[Real Persons Location]
This is an outreach email that I would respond favorably to and likely would lead to further optimization of campaigns and more spend with the search engines.
After all, that is the real reason for these outreach emails: to form a relationship and up-sell accounts into advertising more. If you write a better email, you will sell more advertising!
What about you? Have you been frustrated by these automated emails over the years? Have any gems to share? Please let me know in the comments or send a tweet to @jeffalytics!