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Platypus Innovation Blog

1 April 2016

“Have a Nice Day!” smiled the robot

  • “Are you validating performance for your mobile users?”
  • “Re: Making Great Customer Experiences”
    Double spam points there! Pretending to be a reply to me, plus a subject line that doesn’t acknowledge it’s an ad.
  • “Daniel, open this email for 12 people you should meet :)”
    Sure, the cheap trick of using my name did help them get noticed – but to what end?
  • “I want you back for good”
    Suggestive for a B2B message! But pretending to be on friendly terms with a stranger is insincere. It doesn’t make the message cute, it makes it annoying.
Straight to spam! And when you do read one of these? Disappointment lies ahead: the headline makes click-bait promises to lure you in, but then post does not deliver. You’re likely annoyed at having been fooled into a click — hardly the best start to a customer relationship. If a company starts the conversation with an insincere email — do you trust them?
As a contrast, here’s a sincere sales message:
Network @ BDX Glasgow Next Week (And Win Your Own Office!)
Good honest work BDX: It’s clear from the subject that this is an ad for a Glasgow networking event. If I’m interested, I’ll read it. It is an advert, but that's OK.
In real life, if someone behaves insincerely, soon enough they notice people avoiding them. With digital we may not notice the bad impression insincerity leaves. And with automation… Automation can amplify the problem. With automation, one can be insincere at scale. Pushy insincere tactics can get more clicks. But click-counting doesn’t measure that it also annoys. The pushy marketer doesn’t see the people who don’t click. This can lead to companies blindly optimising for spam, and trashing their own brand.
The problem is not automation, nor is it measurement and optimisation — these are tools that can amplify an underlying problem. The problem is a lack of sincerity.
Here’s a simple test of sincerity: If the recipient knew the full story behind the message — how the recipient was chosen, how the message was crafted, and what the sender hopes to achieve — Would that affect how they read it? If so — some insincerity may have crept in.
So: At SoGrow we’ll be trying to keep it sincere. When one of our bots talks to you, they will hopefully act in a sincere manner — e.g. being open when doing sales.
Yours sincerely,
   – Daniel

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