In response to my claim Jargon Feeds on Lazy Minds, my friend Kav sent me one of the worst marketing emails he’s seen. Rather than complain, I thought why not try and fix it EXTREME makeover style.

Here’s a brief critique followed by a press release makeover.

First, here’s the message – half way between a press release and a product pitch:

Subject: It’s time for a Revolution…a Commercial RE Revolution.

There is a void in the marketplace. Have you noticed it?

For much of the commercial real estate world, the solution is occasionally pulled out because it looks cool; but they can’t really seem to remember how it works. Hidden underneath the pile of instruments we use every day is a much-needed tool. Have you guessed what it is yet?

It’s Collaboration: a social technology tool. Collaboration without context is merely managed chaos. And it requires trust-based teams to provide a context for successful collaborating. Efficiency increases with the alignment of mindsets, purpose and channeling new tools to fully embrace.

With iCORE, we’ve logged many hours creating a new atmosphere of collaboration and teaming while offering the most advanced technological platform designed to facilitate it seamlessly. Long-standing relationships are revered in our business. That’s why we’re approaching channel business in an innovative way, because we understand where the industry is heading.

If your office is land-locked or more importantly, “business-locked”, how do you expand your reach globally?

iCORE solves your “location” problem by placing the capability of reporting and increased optics available at your fingertips, putting you in the know. As a team member, you can manage responsibilities with automated day-to-day updates and document sharing, enabling real-time snapshots of what’s going on with your client, ensuring the best business possible for both you and them.

After all, you’ve invested time, money and effort to build a trusting relationship with your client. And no one wants that to deteriorate. This successful platform of collaboration inspires our team members to provide their clients with the highest level of professional and personal attention that they expect from industry leaders.

Interested in our revolutionary approach?

Begin connecting with a global team by contacting foo @ foo today and increase your global opportunities

The email had some basic HTML formatting which you can see below.

The Critique

The big problem is: what is being sold? A product? A service? You can read the whole thing several times and never know. All of the jargon and fuzzy language makes it worse. In a world of full inboxes this will be deleted as soon as its skimmed. In needs to be clearer, simpler and shorter.

It’s time for a Revolution…a Commercial RE Revolution.

Revolution should almost never be used. It’s used twice in the first sentence. I don’t know what a RE revolution is. Is that a revolution that you do twice?

There is a void in the marketplace. Have you noticed it? For much of the commercial real estate world, the solution is occasionally pulled out because it looks cool; but they can’t really seem to remember how it works

I can’t explain what this means. Are these people with brain damage?

Hidden underneath the pile of instruments we use every day is a much-needed tool. Have you guessed what it is yet? It’s Collaboration: a social technology tool.

Collaboration is not a tool nor a product. Its an activity people do with other people.

With iCORE, we’ve logged many hours creating a new atmosphere of collaboration and teaming while offering the most advanced technological platform designed to facilitate it seamlessly.

Using a i before the name of things makes everyone think of Apple. I’m not sure if this was an intentional association or not, but its distracting.  Seamless and facilitate are jargon and should be avoided. An “atmosphere of collaboration” is nice but it refers to something you experience with other people. Does the tool enable this? Or do folks at iCORE simply gotten along well with each other? It’s unclear.

 iCORE solves your “location” problem by placing the capability of reporting and increased optics available at your fingertips, putting you in the know.

Why is location in quotes? What are increased optics? Does that mean bi-focals?

Overall its not clear what is being pitched. A product? A service? My best guess is its software for real estate agents to use.

 EXTREME MAKEOVER: The Revised Version

Here is a revised and improved version. It’s shorter by nearly half and is much clearer on the pitch and the payoff.

Subject: How to solve your toughest client challenges

In commercial real estate the challenge is to stay ahead of competitors and in touch with your clients. At iCORE we’ve been working hard for years developing a new tool that solves these problems and more.

Our software provides simple reports that answer your toughest questions. You can automate many of your daily chores and get instant snapshots of what your clients need from you.You should consider the iCore product because:

  • It automates the toughest parts of your work
  • Its simple to learn, powerful to use
  • Industry leaders you respect have endorsed it

You’ve invested your career in building trust with clients.Why not finally use software worthy of your hard work?

You can try it for free for 30 days without obligation.Contact us for more information at foo@foo.foo

Of course whatever is offered now has to backup some of those claims, but there are some things PR alone can’t do for you.

If you were hired to make this over what would you do differently? Leave a comment

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8 Responses to “Extreme Makeover: Bad Marketing Email”

  1. Phil Simon |

    True, but $20 says that “Subject: How to solve your toughest client challenges” would never have gotten past the marketing or SEO “experts” at iCore.

    I battle myself with a few companies about using plain language. I went to the iCore site and I still don’t know what they sell. I would disregard the email if sent to me. I want to know less, not more.

    Reply
  2. Craig |

    How about this one:

    Hey Scott
    We’ve just added some new features and reports addressing those issues you raised.

    Can you take a loom and let us know what you think?

    Also if you think our product is good enogh, could you refee it to a few people gou think might be interested, or maybe do an intro for me?

    Thanks again for those product suggestions,

    Craig
    /end

    Feels better doesn’t it?

    Reply
  3. Craig |

    Excuse tbe speling. New keyboard on my phone

    Reply
  4. Christoph Begall |

    How refreshing!

    It is so easy to find something that is bad and dwell on it. You can see that everywhere everyday. Not only pointing out the weaknesses but also showing a way to improve is wonderful, and therefore: THANK YOU!

    Nevertheless I would not read anything with a subject “How to solve your toughest client challenges”, because that it is what everybody says. Whatever the uniqueness of iCORE is, it should be in the subject. And here we are all just in the guessing game: After reading the original I still don’t know the one thing that is so special.

    Following my own advice and your example of constructive criticism my suggestion would be: “How to improve your customer relationship”.

    Reply
  5. Scott |

    Agreed. My subject is lame. It could definitely be better.

    How about:

    “iCORE: A new tool for better customer management”
    “Solving your toughest client problems”
    “Customer Relations Improved: Announcing iCORE”

    Reply
  6. Mike Nitabach |

    That was fucking hilarious! I couldn’t even read the whole thing without doing a few tequila shots halfway through.

    Reply
  7. Jason |

    The first thing to do would be throw out the entire intro. Start at “Long-standing relationships are revered in our business.” and you open with an earnest statement, and follow it directly by the thesis.

    Don’t ‘bury the punchline’ and, as you say, a jargon-ectomy would go a long way.

    Reply
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