The quit stage

Content marketing cannot just be an excuse to collect an email address.

I give you my contact because I am interested in one piece of your content. You follow up to ask if I enjoyed it, and then you start sending out regular emails I have not asked for, on topics that barely touch on my initial interest, widening the range as time goes by. And the bottom line of each of these communication is the exhortation: “buy!”.

This is not how it’s supposed to work. This is not how it’s supposed to be effective.

It’s not, because you are breaking an early relationship based on trust. I have trusted you with my contact, and you have trusted me with your piece of content. And then, what? How would you treat a human being in a face-to-face interaction, after the initial exchange of trust?

Perhaps, asking them what their interests are. Sending them something similar to what made them give you trust, and carefully see if it works. Answering their questions if they have any. Politely enquiring on what can be done to improve the relationship.

And at some point, draw the line and quit.

There must be a moment, a time, when you’ve tried enough. A moment when it’s clear it was just a temporary exchange more than a real interest. A time when sending one additional email is more damaging than not sending it.

In a world in which everything is free (only in monetary terms), we are not used to design the “quit” stage. And yet, one of the most remarkable marketing email I remember is the one of a company who did.


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