There’s always a huge debate going on about the value vs. authenticity of automation in Internet marketing, but some strategies are considered ok when others are considered an absolute evil. But are they really that different?
A few weeks ago, I asked fans on my fanpage (mostly bloggers) about automated messages, particularly Twitter direct messages and thank you emails for comments, and now I want to see if I can get some more opinions about it from online marketers.
Here are two particular automations that have similar goals but are treated differently.
Automated Twitter Direct Messages
A lot of people are generally up in arms about automated Twitter direct messages. There are many ways people utilize direct messages when people follow them, including (but not limited to):
- A simple “Thanks for following” to their new followers.
- A simple “Thanks for following” followed by “please check out my ___.” You can fill in the blank with blog, website, business, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other link.
- An invitation to get a free eBook, whitepaper, report, or other freebie. When you click on it, it is usually free in exchange for you signing up to a mailing list.
I have used automated direct messages in the past, where I ask a question or just let people know I am open to helping them with blogging and social media. As it was hard to make time for the number of questions I was getting, I ended up turning it off altogether. Probably to the joy of those who adamantly hate auto-DMs.
Automated Thank You for Commenting Emails
Since I have been commenting a lot more lately, I have noticed an influx of emails thanking me for my comment. One or two have been personalized, but the rest have been automated by various WordPress plugins.
These emails generally include:
- A simple “Thanks for commenting” and I hope you’ll visit again soon.
- A simple “Thanks for commenting” and an invitation to subscribe to the blog via RSS or email.
- All of the above plus an offer to download a free eBook, whitepaper, report, or other freebie. These lead to a signup for a mailing list.
What is the Difference?
Now, I want you to keep in mind I have nothing against either Twitter direct messages or thank you for commenting emails that are automated. Everyone has to manage their time as they see fit, and has the right to choose how to communicate with others online.
But I’d just like to know why the double standard. Why is one ok (the emails) and the other so evil (the direct messages)? Is it just because the emails are from bloggers and the DMs are (assumed) from Internet marketers? Also, have you found any success using either of these techniques?
Any thoughts, opinions, or discussions are welcome and encouraged!