Home The Wired CIO Lessons (or not) on spinning an email from Microsoft

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Lessons (or not) on spinning an email from Microsoft

Redmond-based software giant Microsoft has inadvertently provided tips on how to structure a campaign email, after what is undoubtedly an embarrassing gaffe by its marketing team.

When it comes to marketing, old tired tactics are still being used in Redmond while it claims to be agile and innovative. Not much innovation is displayed in this age-old PR method with today's update to SQL Server aficionados being a curiously titled email with the subject "[REPLACE] Make the subject line intriguing and targeted".

MS email message

Well, I'm intrigued – even if not targeted!

The body of the email indicated it is advertising a webinar on machine learning in SQL Server 2017 (November 30, 10 am PST if you're interested), but the content certainly didn't spruik the benefits of the webinar.

Instead, it told how one could, if they were, say, a PR person trying to get tech people interested in attending a webinar.

It went on to say "[REPLACE] The invitation email is the most important email you'll send".

Maybe not so important that this particular PR person actually did replace the text?

How do you write an invitation people will act on? Well, according to Microsoft:

  • Keep it short! You're asking for attention from busy people: get right to the point and make it relevant and valuable.
  • Make the language benefit-focused and targeted. If you're targeting IT pros, talk about the pain point you're addressing."If you're struggling to define the role cloud computing plays in your organization's security strategy, you're not alone..." Don't simply reference the job role".
  • Explain what your intended audience will learn from the webinar.
  • Do not make it generic. Consider personalising it with lead information like name or company name as well, but don't go overboard – too many references to a lead's first name quickly and easily sounds fake.

Who sent this email? Well, I'm not sure. Ending the email as it started, we have the attribution "[Replace] Chris Capossela" with the tantalising job title of "[REPLACE] Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft Corporation."

I'm sure Microsoft would not replace Chris Capossela after this email went out, but it does seem the lack of panache and quality control in Microsoft's clumsy Windows 8/10 user interface has now surfaced as the lack of care taken in their marketing e-mails.

So, next time you get an email from Microsoft you can give it an assessment of your own. Is it short? Is the language benefit-focused? Next time you read "you're not alone" know that you definitely aren't; millions of people are getting the same spin as you.

Oh, and unlike this email, don't make your mailout generic. Consider personalising it with lead information. Or, at least, don't say "[Replace] insert interesting title here" – that might be a good start.

LEARN HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL MVNO

Did you know: 1 in 10 mobile services in Australia use an MVNO, as more consumers are turning away from the big 3 providers?

The Australian mobile landscape is changing, and you can take advantage of it.

Any business can grow its brand (and revenue) by adding mobile services to their product range.

From telcos to supermarkets, see who’s found success and learn how they did it in the free report ‘Rise of the MVNOs’.

This free report shows you how to become a successful MVNO:

· Track recent MVNO market trends
· See who’s found success with mobile
· Find out the secret to how they did it
· Learn how to launch your own MVNO service

DOWNLOAD NOW!

David M Williams

joomla site stats

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.