HomeBlog Guidelines for Using Fake-Forward Emails

Guidelines for Using Fake-Forward Emails

March 08, 2013 | By Jay Famico

In my last blog, "Fake-Forward Emails: The Pros and Cons", I discussed “fake forward” emails and how perspectives on this marketing tactic vary. Some marketers view fake-forward emails as an unsavory marketing tactic, while others consider them a creative way of breaking through email clutter. In response to the feedback I’ve received, today’s post discusses guidelines to follow when using fake-forward emails.

In my last blog, "Fake-Forward Emails: The Pros and Cons", I discussed “fake forward” emails and how perspectives on this marketing tactic vary. Some marketers view fake-forward emails as an unsavory marketing tactic, while others consider them a creative way of breaking through email clutter. In response to the feedback I’ve received, today’s post discusses guidelines to follow when using fake-forward emails.

Guidelines

Though the fake-forward email is not a widely used tactic, it is common enough to warrant discussion. If you are considering (or actively using) this tactic in your demand creation efforts, follow these four guidelines (in addition to the ones highlighted in “The 10 Deadly Sins of Signature-Driven Emails”:

  • Relevance. A contact should never be included in the email’s distribution list if the email’s message/offer is not 100 percent aligned with the contact’s needs or interests.
  • The introduction. The introduction text, supposedly written by the person forwarding the message, must be concise, look like email text (not HTML) and read like it comes from an individual (not five rounds of copy writing); otherwise it will look like a marketing email rather than a personal outreach.
  • One person, one company. Ideally, only one person per company should receive the email. If multiple people at the same organization need to receive the mailing for some reason, send the message to one contact via the fake-forward and to the rest as a normal marketing email.
  • Frequency of use. The use of this tactic drives increased conversion rates; however, the more frequently it is used, the less effective it becomes. A contact should never receive more than two fake-forwards a year and, ideally, no more than one.

If a recipient learns that the email was not actually forwarded to her or him, the effectiveness of the tactic is lost and, in some cases, fosters animosity. In addition to the guidelines stated above, senders (e.g. sales reps) must be aware that fake-forwards have been sent on their behalf, so they can effectively respond to any followup from recipients.

Featured SiriusEvents®

Join Us at #SDSummit