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Navigating the sea of e-mail offers

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A guide. 

The economy in Germany and Europe thrives on SMEs - a large number of small companies, some of which have been in family hands for several generations. Structures have been established, processes created and what you can't do yourself or don't want to do yourself is outsourced. Because even if this size of company represents the backbone of the economy, there are fewer resources for in-house staff in some areas than in large corporations. And even if you keep everything in your own hands - offers via e-mail, telephone and the like still come in on a daily basis and constantly pose the question: How do I deal with this offer?

The mailbox is overflowing 

The daily hustle and bustle of business, the ever-increasing demands of the market and customers, new apps and social media - all this and much more keeps entrepreneurs on their toes. That would be enough, but add to that a seemingly endless stream of calls, emails and inquiries from companies all popping up with tips, tricks and ways to work together. 

All it takes is a glance at your own email inbox and the orchestra of promises, offers and sometimes even a form of scaremongering begins. But alongside promises and scaremongering, ideas and suggestions also appear that look like a key to success and don't sound so wrong at first glance. In addition to new tools that are supposed to make everything faster, there are also free tips and offers, suggestions to revolutionize your own marketing and thus have more customers than you can imagine and so on and so forth. 

There are really only two options: either you delete it straight away (unless the spam filter has already ensured that such emails end up in the right folder) or you deal with it. And there is one key question here: how can you tell which of the many offers can actually provide added value for your own company? 

Bringing order to the chaos 

However, it's not just companies that would be potential customers that receive such inquiries, but also us as an agency. With this in mind, we have thought about how to deal with such offers and how to integrate them more quickly into the bigger picture of your own company. 

A possible checklist for dealing with email offers: 

With this guide, we would like to contribute to some orientation on how to deal with e-mail offers and provide a checklist for assessing the necessity for your own company.

  • What are my goals? 
    If it is clear what goals you are pursuing as a company, you can also check whether the goals that seem to be within reach through the offer actually match what my company individually wants and wants to achieve. 
  • What are the needs? 
    This is not just about what is important for the company, but also for entrepreneurs. For example, if you place great value on self-determination, you should steer clear of offers that you either don't understand or where you leave too much to chance.
  • Why am I getting something for free for my company? 
    The answer to this question is relatively simple: free tests or a "gift" are intended to attract new customers and make your offer appealing. Anyone who has already taken out a subscription or signed up for a newsletter will end up in the company's "loop" and will be provided with information on an ongoing basis. You then receive even more of these emails, which are difficult to categorize, so that you ultimately decide to give the collaboration a try. 
  • How does the offer suit my company? 
    Sometimes you receive an offer for something you already do (e.g. a form of online marketing or advertising). In this case, this only shows that no research was done before the offer was sent out, but not whether it makes sense for your own company. Or for something you've never considered before, but that doesn't mean you have to do it because of that. 
  • What is my "big picture"?
    This means, for example, that marketing approaches and instruments should not be viewed in isolation. Every tool, every instrument, every measure fits together with others (ideally) and is part of the overall strategy. So if you are flooded with offers, you can - if desired - check whether they fit into the "big picture" or not. 
  • What can I find out about the company? 
    Aggressive attempts at acquisition are used by different types of companies. This is not something that can only be attributed to one industry or one size. When assessing whether an offer is really serious, it can help to read reviews about the company and check what other customers say. This often makes the picture clearer.
  • Can I ignore the offer? 
    ⁠Of course, you can ignore such offers. Even if it is an attempt at "scaremongering", there is no compulsion or pressure to act. Statements about whether, for example, a website is performing so badly that you run the risk of "losing customers" are an attempt to stir up fear. 
  • What does my gut say?
    An important point on the checklist that we absolutely should not forget: What does your gut say? Of course, you shouldn't blindly rely on your gut feeling and take facts into account, especially when making business decisions. Nevertheless, we are often right when our gut feeling tells us that something doesn't fit or that something isn't right. 

Taking a closer look at the promises of email offers 

If you have already gone through the checklist once and the supposed offer still sounds too good to be true, you should get out the imaginary magnifying glass and take a closer look at the promises made. 

Here is a small guide to what we as a team would say about certain formulations:

1. sales increase of XXX percent in X months
Conversion rate increased from xx percent to xx percent in X weeks
⁠→ We find this statement difficult. Of course, it sounds good if another online store has already achieved such success, but this statement must be viewed objectively: There is no strategy that works 1:1 for every company or for every online store in exactly the same way and achieves exactly the same success. It depends on the industry, the size of the company, the available advertising budget, the competitors who are active in the same industry, the right choice of marketing channel and so on. Therefore, promises with concrete figures in euros or percentages should always be treated with caution.

2. increase store to 7- to 8-digit annual turnover
→ Sounds too good to be true? It is. At Flanke 7, we look at each online store individually and use our research to provide realistic estimates of what can be achieved in the first 6 months after the start of online marketing. Of course, it is clear that it is always better to promise high sales, but we deliberately hold back with unrealistic promises and rely on a trusting, long-term cooperation in which we gradually and realistically adjust the goals.

3. if you don't adjust your strategy now, you will hardly be found in Google searches in the future.
→ This is scaremongering and we refrain from making such statements. In such a case, it's best to move your chair back from the table and take a deep breath. It won't happen overnight that you disappear completely into nirvana in Google search. The best thing to do here is to check the marketing news about the major search engines and read up on what updates have been announced in the near future. If you have any questions, ask around among your friends and acquaintances to see if anyone is already working with a good agency that could help clarify open questions without having to sign a concrete offer.

4. why the online store is doomed to failure if you only rely on channel X and Y.
→ We can't subscribe to this either, as it depends heavily on the online store, the web presence, the product range and many other factors. For some, advertising on Google Ads works best, for others on Facebook Ads and for others, traditional print marketing may work best. It's impossible to make a blanket statement, unless you have "psychic" in your Linkedin job description.

5. "People are buying less" is an excuse that is used to justify poor performance.
→ A clear no from our side here too. In some industries, it is indeed true that there are seasonal fluctuations, e.g. an online store for ski accessories will understandably generate less sales in the summer months, just as an online store for building materials achieves less sales in the winter months, as most construction sites have to be temporarily paused in winter. Furthermore, with rising inflation, end customers are also increasingly considering whether to buy certain (luxury) goods that they do not need for their daily needs now or whether they would rather wait a little longer. This is completely understandable from the consumer's point of view. 

There are many studies that look at the impact of weather factors on sales in certain sectors, e.g. on particularly hot summer days the consumption of ice cream increases and on rainy days the number of food orders from delivery services rises.


Generally speaking, if something sounds utopian at first glance, then caution is advised. Of course, you can also arrange a non-binding initial consultation to have these offers explained to you in detail.

But here is a well-intentioned tip from our side: If you are not so deeply anchored in the world of marketing yourself in terms of understanding (which is not a bad thing at all, by the way), then it is better to take a friend or a business partner into the conversation with you, with whom you can discuss the offer afterwards and recapitulate the points discussed in detail before signing a possible offer.

If you have any questions about topics such as web development, print advertising and online marketing, please take a look at our other blog posts or contact us

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