POST WRITTEN BY
Principal and Founder of The Ligné Group, a full service business development firm focused on building global shelter brands.
The communications technology that has rapidly advanced the way the global market connects has also driven a strong separation between us when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Email blasts are sent to thousands of people, vying to grab viewers’ attention and create calls to action. But so often these tactics fall flat through no fault of the sender — we are inundated with this type of marketing on a daily basis. It’s in our social media feed, on the banner across our news page, and bombarding our inbox by the hour. If my phone gives the easy, one-click “unsubscribe” button at the top of the message, I take it.
As a marketing business, we send an extraordinary number of emails on a daily basis and aim to make sure as many as possible are personal. But we also have an awareness that little goes further than a handwritten note and a phone call. I often say, “If you didn’t pick up the phone, you didn’t actually try.” Technology has made business faster, easier and more efficient, but it has also created a culture of sensory overload and intense competition laced with consumer apathy.
A successful, results-driven marketing campaign balances both worlds — the old and the new. Here are a few methods to make it effectively work for your business:
Take advantage of your data.
When it comes to email marketing, sending the blast is only the start. Let the email cycle in inboxes for 24 to 48 hours before entering the system and downloading the engagement report. Once you export the spreadsheet, narrow down the report to individuals who opened the same email five-to-10 times (this number will vary depending on your type of business). These individuals are clearly engaging with your business and are interested in your product or service. Take the time to send them a direct email, phone call or piece of direct mail. Take action while you have their attention. Don’t wait for an email reply.
Create a focused timeline.
Quality over quantity. Marketing campaigns should never be a shot in the dark. Know your targets, create an action plan for each, and make sure your time and efforts see results. Whether you are selling a product or service, you have to create a system that keeps your mailings and outreach organized so you can follow up on everything.
Start by sending your initial list of potential leads a package in the mail with a personalized note. Introduce yourself and your business, and mail it with tracking so you know the minute it lands on their desk. The day it arrives, pick up the phone to call and make sure they received it, and work to set up a time to speak or meet. This level of personalization and professionalism will leave you a few steps ahead of the competition.
Understand your audience, and practice strategic persistence.
The more you force your brand, the less successful you will be. Take time to understand your consumer or potential client, and adjust your marketing tactics accordingly. We had a client who wanted to sell a product to a specific interior designer, and that designer was not responding to our calls or emails. He was being marketed to by every other product line in the country.
Instead of continuing to call and email, we started to mail packets with handwritten notes every few months with updates on the product. We ended every note with: “We hope to collaborate with you on a future project.” A few months down the road, the designer finally called. Not only did he purchase the product, but he inquired about our services because he was so impressed with our eloquent persistence.
Technology and advanced digital marketing systems are essential to large-scale growth and initiating a successful marketing campaign. But interpersonal relationships and people are what drive businesses forward.