What exactly is spam? besides Hormel’s famous tin of spiced ham. Let’s start with a little quiz – have you ever sent a message with any of the following 3 criteria?
- The address and the identity of the sender is concealed
- The message is sent in bulk
- The message is not requested by the recipient
I have been guilty of at least one of the above on multiple occasions and trust me, the last thing you want to do is have your communication categorized as spam.
We are living in a world where connection is key and clients do not want unsolicited messages or feel like they are part of the masses, the bulk. Let’s get technical here… according to Entrepreneur.com there are several ways we can avoid being categorized as spam, here are three:
- Receive permission from the recipient
- Relevant content
- Message is personalized to the recipient
In order to send relevant content that is appealing, you need to ask yourself – how much do you care about these customers? Really? Dig deep here… are you willing to take the time to know them and understand what it would be like to have a personal one-on-one conversation with them?
The task is not as easy as it sounds, but here are three examples of how influencers and brands have been able to break down the spam barrier and truly connect with their customers in a very personal, one-to-one way. Their personal approach is winning everyone over.
- Tyler Garns, Box Out Marketing
I interviewed Tyler Garns at Skipio’s Technology Leadership Summit in which he discussed how you can start to make automated conversations feel extremely real. The key? When you are writing your messages ask yourself, “What would this be like if I were doing it on my own with one person, how would it look then?” Businesses that care about their customers will take the time to build out this type of messaging. Business who don’t, will just be sending out automated blast messages.
- Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Work Week:
When asked why his book the Four Hour Work Week has had such longevity, he credited a big portion of that success to the way in which he wrote to his audience. Instead of trying to write a book for the whole world, he wrote the book very personally for two of his close friends. This gave him the correct tone, personality and feel in the book, that then allowed it to connect with people in the same demographic as his two friends. Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Work Week (11:00 in)
- Simple Green Smoothies
In an interview on the Foundr Podcast, Simple Green Smoothies founders, Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner, explained how they created a customer avatar named Dannie. Dannie became so real to them that she began to feel like a friend. After months of messaging in a more direct and personal way, a customer tagged them in a photo. The girl in the photo matched exactly how they pictured their avatar Dannie. Do you think that customer felt a personal connection to Simple Green Smoothies? Of course she did, because they were talking to her, making products for her. She knew it, and she felt it. When the creators of Simple Green Smoothies stopped messaging their customer group as a whole, and started messaging to a single customer, messaging became easy and their profits increased. Here is a link to this podcast for you to experience the power of this story first hand: Foundr Magazine Podcast (16:16 in)
We forget how group messages are delivered. They are sent individually, they are received individually and they are read individually. Technology allows us to reach the masses in a quick and efficient way but customers don’t receive messages in mass, they read them one by one. That’s exactly why you should craft your messages for the one, not for the community as a whole.
“You don’t need 19 billion followers on Facebook, you need 150 who buy something from you every single week. Skipio validates what my message is always about and that is, it’s still about people over profits. At the end of the day people make the decisions, they write the checks, you have to connect.” Dan Clark
If you want real, lifelong, loyal customers, then you need to message to the one, not to the group.
The next time you sit down to craft your message, ask yourself: have I received permission? is the content relevant? is the message personalized to the recipient?