'Sorry To Be A Bother'

Fed up with e-mail solicitations.

May 18, 2014

Do you get e-mails like this:

"First, I'm sorry to be a bother. I'm trying to get in touch with whomever's responsible for [insert some technology or service] at [insert your school] College.”

And then, if you ignore the message, a follow-up (or multiple follow-ups) come that reads:

“Ping... Just checking in to see if you got this.”

The e-mails are sent from people that we don’t know.  

The e-mails do not have an “unsubscribe” button, and without taking time to reply back to leave us alone the sender keeps sending.

If you are someone who sends out these sorts of e-mails, or if you work for a company that sends these e-mails, here is my pledge:

  • I will never, ever, forward your e-mail to anyone on my campus, or let you know about the person to “get in touch” with to look at your product.
  • I will do everything I can to make sure that your company does not get hired and your service does not get purchased on my campus.
  • I will tell colleagues from other institutions that your marketing practices are annoying, and that they should avoid you as well.

Want to avoid my ire? Simple. Do not send unsolicited e-mails asking me to do your job. Do not compound the annoyance by sending follow-up e-mails. 

Selling to higher ed is all about relationships.  We get to know our vendor partners over many years. Higher ed is a difficult market in which to close a deal, but once we become your customer we are pretty sticky.

Damage that relationship and you will be in for a tough road.  

Higher ed is a small community, we talk to each other about our good and bad vendor interactions. Sending these sorts of e-mails puts you in a very bad light.

What type of vendor marketing annoys you the most?


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