16 June 2016
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with messages: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, emails; on our laptops, PCs, tablets, mobile phones and everywhere in between! Because all of our devices and services are attached, these messages are now coming from the websites we’ve visited and the companies we trust.
In the past, when advertising was on billboards or in magazines, we could skim past them with very little regard. We’d barely notice an advert if the brand was not of interest to us or trusted by us. Ads on TV and Radio could be muted and ignored, too.
However, times have changed. With all this information firing into our paths there are only two things we can do: we can either take it all in or we can filter a lot of it out. Seeing as taking it all in would be nigh on impossible, we are becoming experts in filtering.
When it comes to filtering, we start with patterns. If we see something we dislike enough times, we start to reject all things that look similar. For example, beautifully designed emails with flashy images and big call to actions have almost become synonymous with someone trying to sell something to us; we don’t like being sold to and so we delete it. We see ads on Facebook and scroll right on past, no connection. We shut down popups without reading them, and sigh a breath of annoyance.
We can either change the way consumers behave, or perhaps more easily, we as marketers can change the way we talk to our customers.
Beauty isn’t everything; we need to connect. Consumers are making judgements about your emails and adverts in seconds, and the more ‘crafted’ a message looks, sometimes the less authentic it feels. Connecting with consumers might be simpler than we have grown to believe.
When consumers sense someone is being ‘real’ with them, their brain’s natural urge to resist influence is calmed, and they are more open to an exchange.
So, to connect with people, we need to talk to them as individuals speaking to individuals. We need to stop worrying about beauty and perfection and start writing quality content and building connections through personalised content.
Writing marketing emails that look as though they are simply from a human can have a dramatic affect on open rate and how people consume the message. For example, including a name in the subject line can boost open rates by 29.3% (source), and 64% of us will determine whether to read an email based on the sender’s ID (source).
SMS forces you to focus on substance over style.
The design of an SMS cannot be made to look beautiful. Instead you have to rely on your words and message to create a connection. SMS is more personal simply due to being received on a mobile phone. Communication via phones often resonates as being personal because the majority of interaction on them is personal.
You can take this approach further by linking in multiple mediums to create a real sense of a single person talking to, and trying to help, their customer. You can even have the best of both worlds; sending a personal SMS message informing someone that they should check their email. That flashy email will likely resonate more because you have personally informed them about it. This allows that strong brand building alongside a personal interaction.
While visual beauty still matters, it’s important to remember that it alone is not the best nor only way to connect to your customers. Creating personal connections and getting a strong message across is more important.