Nothing New To Say

The cold email that warms you up: This is how you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The other day, I received an email from someone interested in providing some freelance work for us, and it caught my eye. I receive hundreds of these, and usually, they are not worth my time. If they are, it's hard for me to take the time to find out because every message is one of many. This one stood out.

"Nothing New To Say"

The writer sent me an email with the same subject line as this one. By the book, it was almost the opposite of what you "should" be saying when marketing yourself, but this one stood out because it was just about as truthful as this email sender could have been.

It's true. I hear it all the time. An email hero is here to make my day as if they are my one and only hope for freelance support. What these people (at least I think they are people) seem to forget is one of the marketing fundamentals.

Unfortunately, many marketers might get caught in the same trap. We'd like to attract new customers, so we shove our marketing in the customer's inbox, newsfeed, or alongside their highway, but we're just one of many others doing the same thing. When we have too many notifications, we tend to tune them out in an effort to cope, and that's what our customers are seeing, too.

Interrupting the Pattern

When you are one of many brands saying roughly the same thing, there's really no reason anyone would take notice. That's why it's important to look at the competitive landscape before you get started developing your advertising message and themes. Take a look at what everyone else is doing in your marketplace. Maybe even narrow it down to the channel. Ask yourself these questions.

  • How are people marketing themselves in my industry?
  • How are they marketing on specific marketing channels?

When you see what others are doing, sometimes that suggests that it's working. If any particular marketing approach works, why wouldn't you do just that? Taking the proven approach makes sense.

The problem marketers face is that the proven approach in a crowded market is called noise. That's why marketers, upon review of the competition should look at it as a list of what not to do. It's time to iterrupt the pattern. Consider these kinds of pattern interruptions.

  • By Channel: If everyone on a marketing channel presents their product in a bright setting, try something dark and moody to stand out in the grid.
  • By Tactic: When everyone is flooding the digital landscape, maybe it's time to bring back printed direct mail. What's old sometimes can become new.
  • By Color: When everyone has a blue or green logo, you may stand out by introducing coral or yellow.
  • By Industry: Imagine a shipping company. If most of your competition talks about on-time delivery, maybe that's a given. Start talking about no broken shipments. Getting something on time is what everyone does, but flawless delivery stands out.

The most important thing to consider is messaging themes. What appeals to human nature may not stray from Maslow's hierarchy, so self-esteem, belonging, and security will always matter, but it's the distinction that makes it noticeable.

Discovery Workshop

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