Bad Email Marketing and Nickelback Don’t Have Much in Common


Think bad email marketing and the band Nickelback might have some things in common? Think again.

I’ve never admitted this to anyone before, but:

I don’t always change the radio station right away when a Nickelback song comes on.

See? That first line wasn’t hyperbole. How embarrassing.

Here’s about how far I’ll let “How You Remind Me” play before finding something else to listen to:

“Never made it as a wise man
I couldn’t cut it as a poor man stealing
Tired of living like a blind man
I’m sick of sight without a sense of feeling …”

(And if you also couldn’t cut it as a poor man stealing, make sure to check out Sonia Simone’s post about an email marketing strategy for your business that people actually enjoy.)

Bad email marketing is famously hated, and Nickelback is a famously hated rock band

Personally, I don’t get the big hate-fuss. When I don’t like something, I just ignore it.

Nonetheless, if Nickelback is the butt of a joke during a conversation, you’ll find me laughing and making facial expressions of disapproval about the music.

That’s the socially acceptable reaction.

So, when a radio station plays “How You Remind Me,” I’m always a little shocked, which prevents me from immediately turning it off.

Why is this song still in the DJ’s rotation? Don’t they know it’s Nickelback?

It’s just like bad email marketing … the public disapproves of it, but it persists.

After patting myself on the back for a moment about that comparison, I realized my logic wasn’t accurate.

Nickelback serves a purpose

People pay attention to Nickelback.

Let’s start with the lesser-known worldview (at least from my experience).

They are, indeed, a popular band that has fans.

  • Nickelback has sold more than 50 million records worldwide since they formed in Alberta, Canada in 1995.
  • They’ve played to more than eight million fee-paying ticket holders on their international tours.
  • Their breakthrough song in 2001, “How You Remind Me,” was the best-selling rock song of the decade in the U.S.

Then, of course, the widely known worldview among anyone who prides themselves on liking good music is …

Nickelback is pathetic.

(Similarly, the opinion of astute content editors is … bad email marketing is pathetic.)

A plethora of references in pop culture make fun of the band.

For example, the mattress company Purple uses this copy in an ad for their mattress protector:

“Other protectors turn your bed crinkly or stiff. And they make your mattress noisy, hot, and uncomfortable … like a Nickelback concert …”

Another form of Nickelback-hate happened in 2011, when the band was announced as the halftime show for the Detroit Lions’s Thanksgiving Day game.

One Lions fan started an online petition to book another artist instead.

In light of that event, and since art often inspires other art, musician Scott Bradlee arranged and recorded a Motown cover of “How You Remind Me.”

That track became part of Bradlee’s album A Motown Tribute to Nickelback, which helped his project Postmodern Jukebox gain popularity in 2012.

The Postmodern Jukebox YouTube channel now has more than five-million subscribers — and more than a billion views. Yes, the B-word.

In 2016, Adweek featured Bradlee as one of “20 Content Creators Who Are Setting the Bar for Creativity.”

Nickelback’s music inspires laughter and creativity

Bad email marketing doesn’t serve a purpose

No one pays attention to bad email marketing.

It doesn’t have any fans and it’s not influential. It doesn’t help a marketer reach her goals.

Bad email marketing makes recipients cranky. When you don’t know how to write an email newsletter, the email you send is both ineffective and a burden.

Email marketing that’s enjoyable for both the writer and the recipient

Smart marketers know what their audiences truly want and deliver valuable treasures to their inboxes.

Think free educational courses, special offers, or both.

The relevant, timely content is just as enjoyable for the writer to craft as it is for the recipient to read.

Are we having fun yet?

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