Per’s Pearls: How do people want to hear from you?

When people ask what I do, and I explain I work with companies to help them communicate with their clients, I often get a blank look. Then I say, “I sell email and SMS” and the light goes on. At that point, I get an uncomfortable, “SPAM?”, or a genuine question like, “What can my company be doing better?” To them, I respond-  

Communicate with people in the manner in which they wish to be communicated. 

I really can’t emphasize this point enough. I’ve sat in scores of meetings where I listened to executives complain that they weren’t seeing acceptable results from pushing a square peg into a round hole. They wanted all their clients to respond to the communication methodology that they felt comfortable with, and not the other way around. They just couldn’t fathom why everyone didn’t open emails from their company, or why direct mail wasn’t working like it always had. 

Keeping your audience engaged and informed is a key to success. But how do people want to hear from you? With a vast range of channels and platforms available, it’s important to understand the preferences of your audience. If you’re like me and want to communicate with my late-teen, and early-twenties kids, you know that they routinely ignore your calls, but will respond immediately to texts. Some people are all about social media, while others live on messaging apps. Getting your message in front of clients and prospects has never been easier, and yet harder than ever! 

Email is dead, long live email 

For our purposes, we’ll stay focused on email and SMS marketing. From the onset email has had an unsavory co-pilot: SPAM. What is it? How do we define it? There are plenty of technical explanations, but my go-to is, “did you want this email at this time?” No? Then it’s SPAM. That’s overly harsh, but it gets to the heart of the issue. Are you listening to what people want and providing engaging content? 

According to Hubspot, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the past year. The key to email marketing success is personalization. With the rise of AI and machine learning, it’s easier than ever to segment your audience and create personalized emails that offer real value.  

I asked Randy Levy, from Zembula, what makes for engaging emails. “Less is more and showing your audience that you know them is pivotal to the success of creating that hypnotic email that does not put your audience to sleep. Triggers and transactional emails (abandoned cart, browse, package tracking, etc.) are some of the most engaging and revenue-producing emails. But to confine that messaging to just your triggers is a huge, missed opportunity. When brands incorporate the data from automated sends and incorporate the next best action into all their promotional emails, the audience perks up because the brand is genuinely engaging with their actions.” 

Be clever, not stupid, with SMS 

Kaleyra’s head of account management, Jessica Munayer, shared her expert advice with us on how to best utilize SMS: 

“The robots are determining when to send the messages, and no one’s going to spend more than 30-seconds on a communication- SMS or email, so be as familiar with the recipient as possible- use their name, reference buying trends, make it as impactful as you can each time. It’s a privilege to send communication to someone, treat it as such.  

Have a personality because people are really good at sniffing out BS bulk messaging. Companies with really high engagement rates have either laser-focused messaging, (your flight moved to gate E4, or your order shipped and should be there Tuesday) or are super engaging, and it’s a hard needle to thread between funny and offensive. There’s the line from Spinal Tap, ‘It’s such a fine line between stupid…and clever.’ Try and make every message result in, ‘oh my gosh, that’s what I’m looking for, how did they know?'” 

In conclusion, how, and how often, people want to hear from you will ultimately depend on your audience and the relevance of your messaging. It’s important to understand your audience as individuals, their preferences, and to create content that resonates with them. Whether it’s email or SMS marketing, the key is to keep your audience engaged and informed. By doing so, you can build lasting relationships and achieve real results. 

Schedule some time to discuss how Sageflo can help you.    

Posted by percaroe

Despite my varied experiences, I'm a salesperson, and for me, that means solving people’s problems. Father of three/ Husband to one wife/ Marketing Junkie/ Voracious Reader/ Foodie/ improbable Yogi