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Best marketing idea you ever had, that failed horribly

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Mar 30, 2012 4:35 am

We all have our brilliant marketing ideas that we thought would propel us to the next level, but ultimately fizzeled out.  What was yours?

Maybe your story could fill a whole for someone else!

Mar 30, 2012 3:00 pm

I went door to door along the Chicago lakefront trying to pitch the idea of doing seminars in the condo building rec room.  Made perfect sense to me.  Education with no cost to the buiilding.

Only had one building allow me to do it.  Not a single person showed up. 

On a positive note, I did this in the summer and only on nice days. 


Mar 30, 2012 3:41 pm

I've got so many it's tough to keep track of!

Here is a recent flop ... I was running a retirement semianr and decided to use Linkein to locate Managers and HR folks from all of my local employeers.  I then sent them a nice letter and 5 invitations to hand out to their employees that were close to retirement.  Took me a good bit of time... zero calls!

My failures are almost always a result of avoiding prospecting.  Billboards, postcards, news papers, etc. etc. etc.

Mar 30, 2012 4:20 pm

just realized i misspelled hole!

Did you give up only after one attempt??

Apr 30, 2013 3:25 pm

I had what I thought was a brilliant idea, except it didn’t work:

I acquired a list of about 800 HNW emails, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

Instead of sinking the cost to snail-mail a letter then follow up with a call, I decided to mass-email an introductory letter. It seemed smart: $25 to send the email, I could track who opened the email and call only those folks, and I could focus my efforts.

Started great: of the 800 emails I sent, 250 were delivered and about 28 were opened.

Unfortunately, the day after sending the email, the service I was using locked my account because I was flagged for spam.

I didn’t realize that was a big no-no. Those services appartantly have to maintain a good relationship with the major email providers (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) or they will blacklist all of their future emails.

Otherwise the idea would have worked perfectly…

Does anyone know a tweak on this idea that might work?

May 2, 2013 5:33 pm

Element that is a great insight. I would have to agree. That is why they say “mail you fail”. I tried postcards and a targeted letter to a very targeted list. Well only had a couple call me back from it or even remember getting it when I called to follow up. You have to prospect…not busy work that avoids prospecting.

May 4, 2013 1:09 pm

From what I understand,; there is also the regulatory component outside of the CAN SPAM Act (which is what your provider shut you down based on) that you may not have been aware of here. Most firms have an internal policy that you have to have compliance approval to send more than 25 without prior compliance approval. You may have more than a shut down problem from a service. Check with your compliance team.

That of course, is all a waste of time, however. Pick up the phone and dial. It’s the FASTEST, CHEAPEST, MOST DIRECT way to talk with people. They don’t call you. YOU CALL THEM.

Aug 8, 2013 12:25 am

Agree with Takingnames. When push comes to shove, you just have to call people. I reached a tipping point when I realized that I really only have two options - quit or cold call.

Sep 9, 2013 6:27 am

There are other options to quitting or cold calling. The best place to get clients is from your best clients (for example)