This title is from an Aesop's fable that fascinated me until I finally realized how it might apply to IT marketing.
The fable tells of a man with buried treasure who would dig up his treasure everyday and then bury it again. One day a thief happened to witness this spectacle and stole the treasure.
When the man realized his treasure had been purloined he cried out and the townsmen came. After hearing this tale one man picked up a rock and threw it into the hole where the treasure had been and said, “There is your treasure”.
Of course the lesson is that treasure only has value when put to use. The treasure that we are talking about are the contacts that computer consultants or MSP vendors may have acquired over time but are not putting to their full potential.
Perhaps you have attended lots of trade shows and have gotten oodles of business contacts or you have tons of prospects that have filled out contact information on your website. Now all this data is beginning to pile up and you have it under lock and key. Maybe you even admire how much data you have each day and dream of gathering even more information in the future.
However, when you start thinking about actually putting this contact data to any use, you begin getting a sinking feeling in the pit of your belly or maybe your hair starts standing on the back of your neck. The truth is that many of the managed services providers and MSP vendors that have lots of contact data may feel very uneasy about using this data to it's full marketing potential because they fear abusing it and alienating those sales leads.
While that presents a very real danger, we all have those annoying business contacts that we regret ever giving our email address to because we get pinged three or four times a day. However, we can't let this fear paralyze us to the point that we don't use our valuable contact data for proper IT services marketing.
The reality is that your company likely has a treasure trove of valuable information to share with your contacts that they will appreciate receiving in the form of a newsletter, special notices about events or even specials offers.
The key is to make sure that you do all this in moderation but realize that you're likely to lose a few of those contacts by the opt-out process. It's impossible to make everybody happy and there are always trade-offs when you do anything.
As long as the majority of your contacts stick around then you're not in any danger of getting blacklisted and you can reap the success that comes with penetrating your contacts list with soft marketing!