02 – COMMUNICATION
“COMMUNICATION IS ACHIEVED WITH ANY COMBINATION OF SPOKEN WORDS, WRITTEN TEXT, NONVERBAL SOUNDS, PHYSICAL GESTURES AND FACIAL EXPRESSION” – www.reference.com
Communication has always been rather important to us humans. As we’ve progressed as a species, the levels to which we communicate haven’t dramatically fluctuated…but the methods or means by which we communicate most definitely have. Fundamentally, human grunts have evolved into speech, and language into the power of print (and the use of emojis! [Symbol]). Today we are literally inundated with media on multiple screens and devices. Combine this with actual human interaction and we’re juggling an incredible influx of communication and information – in both our business and our personal lives!
According to Lifewire.com 205 billion email messages were sent per day in 2016 – meaning almost 2.4 million emails are sent every second and some 74 trillion emails are sent per year. By contrast, the Radicati Group’s estimate for 2009 was 1.4 billion emails sent per day. Making your e-mail stand out from the rest has never been so important.
Repeating messages and recurring messages can actually work. We receive a weekly sales email from a supplier, generally at the same time every week. Normally these would be ignored but the recurrence means this supplier is front-of-mind. The content of the emails is generally irrelevant but it’s like walking past the same dry cleaners every day. The time comes when you actually need a dry cleaner, and you naturally go to the one that you’re familiar with. The one you pass daily.
Having an audience is fundamental. It’s imperative to have some form of data-capture procedure on your website or landing pages, and do collect business cards and LinkedIn with people you meet. Collecting contacts is one thing, but you also need to collate them into an accessible format. Once you have developed a mailing list, recipients will fall into one of the following categories:
- Prospects who know very little or nothing about your offering
- Prospects you want to engage and build a relationship
- Prospects you need to convert and make a sale
- Existing Customers – you can upsell/cross-sell to or use as an advocate
You can then segment your audience and tailor your messages dependent on their need… to educate, inform, inspire or provoke. Larger brands make sure each and every message meets their audience and resonates with them. Think Nectar and Clubcard and the like – their emails are carefully crafted to meet your life stage, purchasing decision or circumstance.
Most of us though are ‘time poor’ and have financial constraints. So there is another tactic we can take. We can be ourselves. We can make our brand, our service, and our personality come to life through the power of words in emails.
The growth of digital marketing has seen the decline of more traditional methods. This does not mean that this medium has become invalid, quite the opposite. The dearth of direct mail (particularly in marketing terms) now works better than ever before because it ‘cuts through’. We no longer get hundreds of letters through the post, so when it does arrive it is no longer received with the same hostility or disregard as it once was. Recent studies have shown that people feel valued when receiving direct mail and there are numerous articles available showing it’s efficiency when used alongside other methods as part of a concerted campaign.
If you consider using direct mail it’s always best to talk to an expert in the field, such as Chamber member Lyn Reed at Best Mailing Services UK.