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Spreading the Marketing Word: Why Email Isn’t Enough

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Today, in marketing, we hear common terms like “email blast,” “mass fax,” “mail campaign,” and many other terms that describe ways to reach many people at once. We rely on the written word to express our thoughts, convey our message, share our specials, and generally to do the work for us. These types of client outreach — whether the goal is to target existing customers or to drum up new business — are not always effective or appreciated.

Not once in my life have I bought anything from someone who sent me an email, but if someone calls to follow up after I have been on their site, there is a much better chance that I will. Of course email correspondence still has its value, but it is very hard to be personal in an email. A client can't get a true gauge for how you feel. Often times emails are misunderstood and taken the wrong way, so the follow up phone call is a must.

Can you feel what I am saying?
Personal touch is the key. While a little more time consuming and often uncomfortable, the phone call eliminates the “delete” button. Plus, once you have the client on the phone, you can bring information out of them that might help you figure out other ways you can help. If you can get your potential client chatting about his or her business or campaign, you should be able to quickly identify multiple services or products you can offer.

As an example, you call to offer a new candidate your great pricing on yard signs and banners. While talking with him, you find that he hasn’t had time to order them because he is too busy working on a mail piece that he needs to get out to announce his candidacy. Bingo! You now can tell him that you can design, print, and mail those pieces for him. The trust that you have just built in 60 seconds has opened up the door for just about anything you want to pitch.

One in a million and a dime a dozen
Not only is the phone call more personal, it is also more unique. Today, candidates and business owners receive dozens, if not hundreds, of mailers, email blasts, and faxes each month. Each correspondence looks about the same and offers nearly the same promotions.

Sure, you can hire a graphic designer to create a fancy piece, print it on expensive paper, and package it with sparkles and bows, but see what that does for your budget. See what your return is on this piece while it is taking up space in someone’s trashcan.

I received a mailer from Marlboro once. It was beautiful and had to be about 5” by 6”. It unfolded three times and was all full-color. The package contained coupons. I ripped out the coupons and threw the packaging in the garbage.

Granted, this example is not quite the same as pitching yard signs to a campaign since Marlboro is probably ordered by law to spend incredible amounts of money on advertising, but the fate of the packaging is still the same. Had a smoker received an advertisement from 10 different cigarette companies, each would look very similar, contain the same information, and the wrapping would end up in the same place.

You Da Man!
Simply put, you want your clients to believe you have unlimited time to help them out. Of course you don’t, but the time you put into actually speaking with your clients is priceless; it is to them, and you will find that it is to you.

It has been said that good service from a company is shared with 5-7 people while poor service is shared with 12-15 people. Do the math and you’ll easily conclude that your personal relationship with customers will only benefit your bottom line. Your initial sale with a customer may be the only time they buy, but that customer will now tell colleagues that he “knows a guy.” You can be that guy.

Fill up your coffee cup, get your legal pad ready, and crack your knuckles. You have some dialing to do.

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About Wade Baffa

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    So true. We’re so tied up to technology, many have forgotten that the human element is important.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I received a mailer from Marlboro once. It was beautiful and had to be about 5” by 6”. It unfolded three times and was all full-color. The package contained coupons. I ripped out the coupons and threw the packaging in the garbage.

    It still got your attention and if it fitted a need then they scored 100%. Obviously, it did because you took the coupons.

    Only a huge company can afford a call center in order to place follow-up or initial calls. Imagine how much money you spend on either your time on the phone or man hours for a call center. Designing a nice graphical email or mail-piece with some sort of discount attached & a proper image can draw a ton of business cost efficiently.

  • http://www.ReachMail.com John Murphy

    I agree that email by itself can’t do the trick but used in conjunction with telemarketing it can work wonders. If you’re cold calling you get much better results talking to people who have opened and/or warded your email.

  • Marc Donovan

    I don’t quite agree here. My customers sell things all day long and all they do is email blasts. Some have gotten quite wealthy on email alone. It just has to be done right. You have to get personal. You dont just send email versions of your flyer, you send personal anecdotes and you provide good information, for free, that builds trust and that builds a relationship.

  • Scott Stone

    Obviously, a multi-touch initiative is best but so many marketers forget to make human to human contact. Cold calling, as a singular strategy is dead but a well timed phone call can be the difference between success and failure…