How Auto-Responders Killed The Potential Business Deal

Version 3

    Knock, knock. Who's there? Nobody. Nobody who?


    Nobody who knows a damn thing about marketing.


    You know we all sit up in our ivory towers worried about our children and the social impact that computers and the internet are having on them today. How they would rather run home from school and IM back and forth with their friends on Facebook, who all live on the same neighborhood mind you, rather than grab a ball on a beautiful day and have a healthy pick-up game or go out and climb a tree in the local field. Yup - there's no doubt in our minds that they are going to become social misfits because they spend more time online than on the playground.


    Look at them? LOOK AT US!


    Before the internet what were we like? We didn't email one another. We didn't communicate with auto responders, webinars and videos. We took the time to get to know one another and develop a relationship over a phone call or a cup of coffee. Now all we try to do is find a better app that will allow us to clone ourselves so we can kill two birds with one stone. In the process we shoot ourselves in the foot, because in this microwave society that we live in, personally contacting multitudes of people has become impersonal. And if you're on the receiving end, chances are - you take it personally.


    Thanks to network marketing and the vast array of tools available to us today, marketing has become less of an "intentional science" and more about simply playing a numbers game, leaving potential opportunities on the side of the road. A perfect example of this is the use of Twitter direct messages.


    When I was interviewed about Twitter in the August issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, I referred to it as "a single guy's one-liner tool, the proverbial "is this seat taken?" I went on to say that "Twitter has replaced email as a way to introduce myself and start a dialog with someone who may not return my phone call or respond to my email." What I failed to point out is that for all of its advantages, Twitter is unfortunately one of the most underutilized PERSONAL marketing tools available to us today.


    Now don't misunderstand me, I didn't say under-monetized, I said underutilized. Lord knows there's no lack of products out there that will show you how you can gain 50,000 followers in only two days.


    The fact is, when you follow someone chances are you will receive one of two things. Nothing at all or, an auto responder direct message that thanks you for the follow and asks you to either visit their blog, check out their website, etc. Sad but true.


    I recently decided to conduct my own micro-experiment. I hand selected and followed exactly 100 people. Of the 100, practically everyone followed me back. Next step - direct message. This is what I sent...


    "Michael, thanks for the follow. Are you reading this or are your DM's automated? I ask because I have a question regarding what you do - Duke"


    As you can see, I personalized it not only by addressing them by their first name and providing them with mine as well, but I put their name as the first word in the message in order to grab their attention and separate my message from the others that they receive. Out of the 100 that I sent, only 9% responded. Now of course that could mean any one of several things.


    1.) They're not interested in having a dialog with me


    2.) The DM's that they receive are directly sent to their junk folder


    3.) They receive way too many to read them all


    4.) They follow anyone who will follow them


    5.) I'm having a bad hair day


    6.) OR, for them, everything is on auto-pilot


    However one thing is for certain, 91% of them potentially missed out on a great business deal, joint venture, network partner, strategic relationship etc... all because they never saw it coming.


    Direct messages, instead of being an unbelievable tool have unfortunately become a formality.