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MediaPost's Email Insider Summit: How NOT To Do Email Marketing

On May 21-24th, Bill McCloskey is hosting MediaPost's Email Insider Summit. Here's how they describe the event:

The purpose of the Email Insider Summit is to bring the best minds in the industry together to share leading edge information and experience on email marketing in a think-tank environment, while exploring new technology, strategies and tactics for effective campaigns.

Hosted by Bill McCloskey, the first summit will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 21-24th. In a tranquil mountain setting, over one hundred brand marketers and agency decision makers will network, discuss and debate, working collaboratively to improve the email channel, as well as their own marketing efforts.

Information-packed sessions will alternate with relaxing networking activities. Each morning attendees will share information and learn more about email marketing through general sessions, keynotes, research presentations, case studies, workshops, and panel discussions. In the afternoons the fun begins with golf, rafting and other activities that take advantage of the Arizona desert.

So far so good. Sounds like you'd really want to be a part of that, doesn't it? Well, that's what I thought too when, a couple of weeks ago, I receive a VIP invitation to attend this event. The email started like this:

Dear Tamara

I would like you to be our guest for the 2006 Email Insider Summit. As a Summit VIP, the cost of your airfare, hotel accommodations and conference registration will be paid for by MediaPost.

The Email Insider Summit Advisory Board has identified you as a senior level marketer or agency executive decision maker within your company. You are among a select few to whom we are extending this special VIP opportunity.

WOW! I wasn't going to say no to that! I sent them an email asking for more details about the event and I was already making plans to ask my manager for a holiday to go to Arizona. I wouldn't want to miss this event!

A couple of hours later I receive a second email from them though. This one started like this:

Dear Tamara:

We apologize if you received an email from MediaPost earlier today inviting you as our VIP guest to the Email Insider Summit.  That email was intended to be sent to a list of 50 top brand marketers in the industry, that have already agreed to attend the event. The email below is the email that you were intended to receive.  If you would like to be a part of the inaugural Email Insider Summit please read below about the summit and how to register.  Again we apologize for the confusion and inconvenience that error may have caused you.

That was it. A cold standard apology and nothing else! Plus an invitation to pay $2,495 to attend the event. Would you register after these emails? No, I didn't think so...

Needless to say that my perception of this event and its organizers isn't too good these days...

I guess if I were the person that launched the first email, I would be out of a job right now...

Funny little detail: on the day they sent out the above emails, MediaPost's Email Insider Newsletter featured an article called E-mail's 'Best of the Worst' - guess what it's about :o)

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