Marketing Communication, the Genuine Way

I receive a considerable amount of communication each day; E-mail from people trying to introduce me to their company or LinkedIn invites trying to connect with me for networking.

I try to respond to all requests that feel genuine, as though they were not from a canned marketing platform.  Here are a few examples lately I found interesting.


Example 1:  A cold reach out on LinkedIn

I received this request recently as a LinkedIn invite to connect.

Hi Kevin, I just wanted to say that Cliqueshare's expertise is absolutely remarkable, and that’s why I thought it would be really great to connect with you.

Now I seem to get something like this often, and I am really skeptical of it.  Usually the example I receive that reads like a canned marketing attempt is more this: “I’ve been following your company for a while and I’m really impressed”.   So this time something felt a little different about the reach out, and I thought I would respond, but not necessarily accept the invite to connect.

I'm curious. What do you find remarkable about it?

Now, I didn’t expect a detailed response and was completely surprised when I quickly received this back:

Hi, Kevin! 

Thanks for reaching out! Well, as a user (Android, but installed a desktop version a few days ago as well) I really like a couple of things: 

1) The privacy! The fact that I can share photos or videos with just a select group of people whom I have added to my Cliqueboard is pretty innovative and very convenient. I used Cliqueshare to share photos from our corporate event, and it was just perfect for that. 2) I really love the interface too. It is very easy to share stuff and add people, and you are not overburdened with a zillion of buttons and functions, which is something I, as a relatively new user, find confusing about, for instance, Pinterest. 

So, I thought it'd be great to connect with the people behind a great product. 

Have a great day! 

Best, <Name>

You bet, I will connect.  Great response.  It was well thought out and clearly he did what he claimed in the message.  And he’s right about Cliqueshare…  a great product


Example 2: Cold LinkedIn connect; Aggressive follow up

Someone with a very common name reached out to me on LinkedIn.  At first, I incorrectly assumed them someone I had a meeting scheduled with later in the day.  They were not that person, but I accepted the invite thinking they were.  I usually like to do a little research on people before I accept a cold invite.  So, this is not normal for me.

Well immediately once I accepted the invite, I received this message in my LinkedIn inbox.

Hi Kevin,

It is great to be connected with you here on LinkedIn. I am seeking an individual that is currently building a business and requires additional capital to reach their goals.

Would that be you?

Well, naturally I am interested, however I think the message is odd because at this point I still think this is someone I am meeting with later in the day.  I dig a bit more and learn I’ve mistaken this person.  However, I am still interested in funding, so why not quickly respond?

I’m involved in capital raise efforts here at Cliqueshare.  So, yes, it's me.

Well about 4 minutes later my phone rings from an unknown number.  I was still at home getting a kid off to school and didn’t recognize the number, so I didn’t answer.  Here was the voice mail.

Yeah, good morning, Kevin. We connected on LinkedIn and you responded to my message looking to raise Capital. You can reach me back on my cell phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Again, that's xxx-xxx-xxxx. You have a great day. I look forward to speaking with you.

OK, fine.  A little aggressive but not terrible.  Then two minutes later I received this:

Hi Kevin,

I haven't heard from you in a while. I wanted to see if we can hop on a quick call today and reconnect. Do you have time to hop on a quick call and catch up?



Since we just connected about 12 minutes prior, I am not sure the tactic of “I haven’t heard from you in a while” is accurate.  Feels like shooting, then aiming in the marketing tactics.  This is likely a scenario where this person is looking to “connect” with me under the guise of being interested in investing capital, only to learn they have a plan to guide us to funding if we simply pay their consulting fee.


Example 3.  Email communication attempt

This one sparked my interest solely because it is close to a software service we use often at Cliqueshare.

Hi Kevin,

Hope your week is going well! We reached out a few days ago - trying again in hope that you might be interested in helping out a fellow startup.

As entrepreneurs, we rely on our personal networks daily — but our existing tools sometimes make networking harder, not easier. That's why we're building a smarter networking app.

Our product turns your contacts from multiple channels into a single network, maintains it in real time, and highlights the strongest relationships within it. It's also a private, easy way to create a company-wide network — imagine, your entire company's connections, at your fingertips, all the time. 

We think you'd get a lot of value from our product, so we'd love to have you pilot the product. At this stage, feedback is more important to us than revenue — so if you're willing to help us out, we'll set your company up with a trial and a deep discount offer (like 80-90% off — we mean business).

Any interest? My team and I would love to hear from you.


So, I replied right away, even though I am not sure I remember the “few days ago” reach out.

Sure, I'd chat with you next week about it.  I'd like to trial it for free and see what it can do.  I'll also need to understand it more as at first glance, I know of a few competing ideas.  One that we already use called XXXX.  But, I realize I could be absolutely wrong in my understanding of your offering.

Send me a few times available to chat next week please.

This response was sent 14 minutes after receiving the email.  One would expect interest to be generated from this, right?  6 days later I’ve received no response.  What is the point of marketing and soliciting feedback if you do not have the means to follow up?


What are my takeaways from this?

  1. Be genuine in your communication.  Write something personal and not a copy/paste from a sample email marketing plan.

  2. Do not schedule your outbound mail messages at a time when you cannot respond to interested parties.

  3. Be realistic when running through your follow-up plan. 

Just some random thoughts for the day. Hope they help you to think through all your communication, looking for ways to be personable and genuine.

Kevin Nickell

Kevin Nickell