A cautionary tale from a cringe-worthy email

Most business owners would never hire a cashier and fail to train them on using the credit card machine — why do so many hand over their social media or other marketing channels to well-intended-but-untrained employees? 
Last week, I saw an email marketing campaign that stopped me cold because it included a pretty negative brand exposure that could’ve been easily avoided. 
99.9% of the time, branding missteps are created by nice, well-intended people who thought they were “doing marketing”. 
Having a login isn’t the same as having a marketing mindset.  
Handing your brand and reputation to someone just because you need the help and they’re on the payroll is ludicrous and sets them up for failure and your brand up for exposure. 
That’s why an important benefit of MIX membership is logins for the members of your team who are managing messaging on behalf of your brand.  

Marketing is a big responsibility.

Do you delegate branding to someone else? Are you the person to whom it’s delegated? Then you should pay attention to this story. 

This attached graphic is from an email blast that was sent out by a gemstone wholesaler in anticipation of a jewelry show where their company was hosting an exhibit. We’ve blocked out a part of the graphic intentionally.

Shortly after it was sent out, a retraction was issued. And I cannot imagine the fallout. It was a bone-headed move for a marketer. And yet, it’s really easy to see how it happened. 

Let’s say, for example, it’s your job to drive traffic to your business while they exhibit at a jewelry show. You know that a trending topic is coronavirus, so you decide to get some attention for your booth at the AGTA Gemfair in Tucson, Arizona..


You’re known for your wit, so you put together what you think is a sure winner — an email you’ll send to the thousands of individuals on your mailing list that has a subject line “Coronavirus in Tucson?”.


Surely that will get a lot of people opening the email and “open rate” is a success measure, right?


Then, when they do, you’ve got a real zinger for them that implies that conditions in certain parts of the jewelry show may be laden with germs while yours is in the “sanitary” section. 


And to really drive all of this humor home, you add an eye-catching graphic.

It all probably seemed like a great idea at the time. What could possibly go wrong?


But, if you’re the owner of the brand, then you’ve got a very real challenge in front of you that’s going to impact your revenue, your life, and the business that you’ve worked so hard to build.


The bottom line is this—never entrust your brand and your reputation to someone until you’ve set them up for success by providing solid training and a workflow for their messaging that keeps you and your brand out of the hall of shame.


Marketing that’s tied to BUZZ instead of BRAND is never a good idea.

Marketing that’s tied to RECOGNITION rather than REVENUE is never a good idea.

Marketing that’s tied to GIGGLES over GOALS is never a good idea.


That’s why everything that we do as part of the Marketing Idea Exchange is focused on revenue-centric marketing that emulates a world-class approach to marketing your business. 

If that’s something that you find more appealing than taking your chances, then you’re invited to join the MIX!

And don’t forget — any time that you need feedback or brainstorming, head on over to our new Facebook group!  The insights and feedback that you get from peers who are facing similar marketing challenges might be a real difference-maker for your efforts! 

Scroll to Top