Why a Targeted, Creative Email Stands Out

In: Content Marketing

As a marketer my email inbox is stuffed to overflowing with not only uninvited messages that I put up with in the name of “creative stimulation” but also of really great informative marketing messages that I need to help my clients, but alas, I end up ignoring about 87% of them, many of which could be life altering, business game changing (overused term I know) ideas.

But every once in a while an email catches my eye and causes me to read. OK you have my attention! This is one of those rare emails. Good job Ann Handley at Marketing Profs!

Here are just a few reasons this email resonated:

  • The message is highly targeted to me and other marketing professionals
  • The message plays (very well) off my fear of becoming irrelevant!
  • Using the Don Draper character instantly creates a visual of a “traditional ad guy” (something I have run from my whole career and they must know that over there…)
  • Since they “must know somehow” (Gee, personas must work) that I don’t want to be a traditional ad guy, they use Don Draper in a negative light, refusing to attend something that will lead to “misguided attempts at innovation.”
  • Finally, receiving an email from a fictional character regardless of who it is arouses curiosity and a desire to at least give it a read.


Whether I can attend this year’s B2B Marketing Forum or not, you can bet they have my attention, and I visited the site and checked out the agenda. (Not surprisingly this year’s theme is “This is NOT Your Father’s B2B.)

Here is the email message:

A message from a real Mad Man about MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2012.

Why I’m not attending B2B Forum 2012.

Recently, there’s been much talk about the “future” of B2B marketing. And I’m disgusted.

For my entire career, I’ve been telling people what they should buy, what they should do, and how they should think. It’s brought me success. A lot of success. In fact, there are whole bookcases devoted to my success.

And now, some individuals are trying to change things. They think they’re making B2B marketing better, and more insightful, all under the guise of “progress.” But I know better. I know people want to be told what to do, and in the same manner they’ve been responding to for decades.

So as of today, I’m putting my foot down. I’m telling the world that I will not be attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum in October.

If you want to abandon tried-and-true practices that have brought me countless victories, then by all means, attend. If you want to leave your success up to misguided attempts at innovation—put your faith in junk tactics like social media, mobile, content creation and search—then please, register now. If you think knowing how to optimize your lead gen funnel will help you attract and retain customers, then book your flight to Boston today.

As for me, I don’t need a marketing conference to tell me about the future. After all, the “future” was invented by guys like me simply to sell products. I’m just fine in the present.


:: Donald F. Draper

:: Creative Director

:: Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce