David Lee - Aug 15, 2017

Marketing Mistakes: The Lazy Copy and Paste

We’ve all been there.  Maybe you had a tough day and it’s 10 o’clock at night; maybe you ran out of creative juice for the day; maybe you’re new to marketing.  In any case, at some point, we all turn to the web for inspiration.

That was me tonight.  I need some fresh ideas to kickstart me into crafting a new prospecting email, so I ran this query:  


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After a bit of searching and reading a few blogs, I hit the jackpot and found this article from Hubspot:  


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Whoo hoo!  I eagerly dived right in and started to read each and every one of the 28 templates.

But I didn’t get very far.  When I got to the third template, I had to stop.  I was experiencing déjȧ vu.  I had seen this exact email somewhere before…

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As a marketing agency, we usually get cc’d when a prospect fills in a contact form on our clients’ websites.  We do this so we can see what kind of leads our efforts are bringing in.  Most of the time, they are solid, qualified leads, but every once in a while, another marketing agency tries to be cute, using the contact form to try to sell their services.  

By the way, I don’t recommend doing this, because you have no idea who the contact form is going to.  Most likely it’s going to the sales or marketing team, who is expecting to receive a qualified lead, not a solicitation.  So by trying to sell to them using the contact form, you’ll probably just end up annoying them for wasting their time.  And maybe the contact form gets sent to their marketing agency, which, in this case, it was.

Anyway, I fired up my email and searched for “Your website’s design is absolutely brilliant,” and I was right!  Right after we launched a client’s new website, a marketing agency had filled in the contact form with this message:

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Wow.  An exact copy from Hubspot.  

Then, I noticed that our client received another one almost a month later:

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It was the exact same copy with a different name and different signature.


The Takeaway

We all know that with email marketing, you need to stop selling and start offering value.

With email marketing becoming more popular than ever, it’s important that you make sure that your email is crafted with your targeted prospect in mind and that you insert some of your own personality into the email.

When you turn to the internet for sources of inspiration, don’t be that lazy guy (or gal) who simply copies and pastes the entire content into a canned email.  Eventually, you will get caught.

Instead, use templates like the ones from Hubspot as sources of inspiration to get you thinking and knock down that writer’s block you may have hit.

Oh yeah, and make sure you keep track of who you have emailed.  It’s even worse when the prospect receives the exact same email from the same company.

Do you know who you are targeting?

Download our free Buyer Persona template and find out.

Learn How to Create Your Own Buyer Persona


Written by David Lee

As the founder of Do What Works, my goal is to take the best practices and lessons I learned from working with Fortune 500 companies and bring them to the mid-size market and help our clients grow their business.