Marketing Without Exclamation Points

God has given you a certain number of exclamation points to use in your lifetime. Once you use them all, you are un-friended, filtered, deleted, un-followed, un-subscribed and permanently muted.

This doesn't apply to your social posts about your kid's home run, but it certainly does apply to business. I frequently give folks a hard time for over-using exclamation points, mostly because they deserve it. Here are some examples.

  • Your email newsletter is spam. Just because someone gave you their business card is not permission to add them to your list.
  • Your posts are self-serving. They are interruptions that scream, "Hey look over here for a moment!" You're slowly using up your attention currency and you won't get it back.
  • Your business cards promote Facebook's brand more than your own. "We're cool!" is what you're hoping people will take away.

Some folks disagree, but my philosophy and aligned strategies are the reasons that a single email to my list can generate a 132% open rate. Here's how to do it.

  • Use an email service with higher standards than your own.
  • Know what your audience wants from you, and how often. Discipline yourself around it.
  • Be generous. Give value in every single communication (as it pertains to how your audience defines value). HubSpot is amazing at this.
  • Analyze everything. Data is your friend if you use it.

In the event that you take a day off from these principles, apologize and don't do it again. It's always better to give your audience the gift of missing you instead of rambling or scrambling for content. Mute yourself before they do it for you.

You are reeling from too much clutter, yourself. You're unsubscribing from email newsletters and un-liking brands that abuse your permission and waste your attention. Make sure you're treating your audience the way you would like to be treated.

// Kyle Sexton is an award-winning marketing strategist and international speaker. His innovations have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, and his book, REMEMBERSHIP - New Thinking for Tomorrow's Membership Organization, is fueling transformations in membership organizations throughout North America.  He can be reached at 888.899.8374 or get his free resources at