Don’t be That Guy


It’s Holiday Season, and no matter what religion you’re into or even if you’re atheist, this is a time you enjoy spending with your family or friends since most people take some vacation or some days off.

A few things make us cringe and annoy the hell out of our minds. For instance, some relatives or friends fall into some categories that make us nervous wreck. Don’t be that guy.

So, I’ll use these people’s examples to make pretty credible similarities between them and how you do Email Marketing and Automation with your subscribers. Imagine that a subscriber is a family man or woman hosting a family dinner with all the family reunited, talking about life stories and new developments.

Regularly, a friend or family member makes someone cringe or show a yellow smile when they show up by surprise at their doorstep. Don’t be that guy. If you want to have a great time with your family and get lovely presents, you need to take care of and avoid being one of these characters.

Please, don’t assume that these examples are in any way based on real – real life. πŸ˜‰ They’re just fictional characters that you can be familiar with somehow.
So, let’s begin:

1. The Missing Ex-Brother in Law – Don’t Be That Guy

Missing Ex-Brother in Law

There you are, all prepared to place the turkey at the table, and everyone is ready to start their meal, and the doorbell rings unexpectedly. Curious, you open the door, trying to figure out who would be at that time. To your surprise is your Ex-Brother in Law that ditched your sister five years ago for a new blonde model entering your living room, asking if he can join the party and have dinner with you.

Telling you that he was wrong and that he shouldn’t have done that, asking for another chance, already sitting and grabbing a turkey leg on someone else’s plate.Β What would you do? Crazy, right? Never happened to you before? Probably, since this is like a mayonnaise dreamish bad novel writing. However, you get the picture.

Some brands are like this guy you want to smack in the head and kick their butt out of your house, never coming back again. Not happy by never talking to you since you’ve subscribed five years ago (do you still remember, after all this time?) and at the first message sent, they already have a sales pitch on it for you to buy their stuff. Humm… not nice, right?

Don’t be that guy!

You shouldn’t even send them unless you first apologize, then you say what and how many times you’re going to send them, considering your subscriber’s best interest, not yours, and how much value you’ll be delivering to them. Then, you still should ask them if they still want to be on your list. Place a big UNSUBSCRIBE button on your email and make sure that the process runs smooth and straightforward for those who don’t want to receive any other email from you.

Trust and reputation take a lifetime to get and a few seconds to lose. Not only that, you should remove from your list everyone that you don’t have tracked that has opened, or they have bounced. Start with the ones that did open and haven’t subscribed. They’re giving the last chance to make a difference and make things right again. Don’t mess up again!

2. That Pushy Brat of a Nephew Always Asking for a Present

The Pushy Nephew Brat

You know what I mean, right? You haven’t even said hi, and he’s already asking if you have brought him a present? Where is it? Give me, give me, give me! What do you do in this case? Well, for the family’s sake, you swallow and give him a small plastic plane you’ve bought at the seven-eleven at the corner just to shut him up. He complains anyway, so there’s no need to buy something more expensive. Also, usually one tries to avoid him at any cost.

Don’t be that guy!

Some brands act just like this brat. They use their email or mobile channel to ask you to buy something. Buy this, buy that, buy something. Just buy it! Sometimes the subscriber even accepts something just to see what happens and the following message is… buy again! He’s sick of it, but in this case, he doesn’t take it for the family, he just click the spam button or some other filter, and you’re out of his life.

And you don’t just lose a subscriber; you lose his trust and will to go for your brand when he’s searching for your line of products or services. Pushy guy!

3. That Distant Cousin which only shows up on Holidays or when he needs money

A Distant Cousin that asks for money

Almost every family has someone like this one. You don’t hear from them the entire year, but it shows up for the family banquet to feast and have some new project or endeavour for what needs some funds. So, you need to give an excuse every time, and he goes for the next in the room. C’mon man! He stays an entire year without a single phone call or message to know if you’re alright or needed something, but it shows up at the Holidays to ask for money.

Don’t be that guy!

Do you relate some brands to this behaviour? Unfortunately, it’s widespread. We get a text message one time a year to say that they wish us a great new year and have a special deal just for us to enjoy. Really?

That’s no way to make a relationship, [place brand’s name here πŸ™‚ ]. Give value to the subscriber. Make them feel special for the entire year. And no, at the Holidays, don’t ask them to buy something. Give more value and wish them the best. You can incite the purchase at different times of the year, months, days. But with a consistent value-added and make them respect you. Be someone that it’s there the entire year for them and not just at the Holidays to ask them for money.

4. That Gossip Auntie that doesn’t let Go and tells it all

The Gossip Auntie


Another kind of family member turns your nerves into a wreck. This pain in the arse, snoopy Auntie, is on your case the entire year, every day trying to know things about you but not for your benefit, but to share with other people and family members. Then, at the Holidays, without you even knowing about it, it seems that your entire family knows that you’ve become a vegetarian and offer you things that can or not relate to eating vegetables.

It’s so overwhelming that you’re wondering if it would be better to get that same horrible wool sweater every year.

Don’t be that guy!

There’s a serious trend right now: to share information about your list. One company shares your subscriber buying habits with you, and you share the information to them to partner and deliver (you think) better value and reach more subscribers. At first, it seems interesting, but what would you feel if someone shared your secrets and habits with others without your permission.

Would you feel secure buying from that brand again? Would you feel safe sharing more information with them? A brand should be conscientious about understanding what kind of information should gather, segmented or even turned into a cluster. Instead of creating a very targeted message, you could creep someone out. Don’t be that guy. Act as if your subscriber is a person, and you might find out that you’re also one. πŸ˜‰

5. That Drooling Fluffy Grandma that Hugs you to Death

The Fluffy Drooling Grandma

Ok, this is a very ambiguous situation because, well, you love your Grandma. You can’t help it! She’s that smiling, fluffy, hugging old lady that you can’t help to love. However, your girlfriend finds it very funny when she still treats you like a small child and drools you with kisses, pinch your cheeks and give you a tap in the butt, calling you “Frickle Chubby Joe”. Too much information? Agree.

Don’t be this lovely old lady!

How can your brand be like this? If you’re not a toy store (and even then, usually who subscribes are the parents), your subscriber is an adult. So, at Holiday Season, why do you send fluffy kittens with a bit of elf on top wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, for instance? It’s cute indeed, but it’s not what a brand should send. Your Grandma or that warming next-door neighbour who gives you a delicious apple pie on Thanks Giving is perfectly natural and almost like a guilty pleasure to get it.

However, your brand does not carry this amount of warming tenure and affection, nor it should have for business purposes. So, why send people this kind of message and expect anything than that awkward moment when you feel embarrassed for the brand itself? Don’t forget your place and act according to that. Send something creative but leverage the cuteness and keep your style.

Don’t be that guy!

I could go on and on, but let’s face it. It has already been too long, and most people don’t reach here. So, I’ll end up with a few more tips on differentiating yourself from the rest of the crowd.

  1. Listen, instead of pushing your message. The holiday season is a time for people to enjoy, not entirely for you to sell stuff.
  2. Ask your subscriber what they would love to get as a present. Even though you might not send them that actual present, you can have an idea of whom you have on your list and even give them a moment to introspect and feel that they matter. Please give them a voice!
  3. Give something. Not a discount! Give something for free. Like an ebook, a walkthrough, a How-To description or even something for Charity. Make a poll with your subscribers to select which one.

There are tons of ideas around. In the end, you’re still going to have sales. Indirectly and sometimes even directly by this kind of attitude. You gain someone’s respect. Not lose it! And build your reputation bag for when your subscriber is ready to make a purchase again.

Don’t be that guy! Be yourself.

All Picture Credits are from each Movie Producer and Studio. No claim for any rights. They help to describe each topic.

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