How do you increase your chances that people will listen to you? 9 quick ways to kick up your success in reaching out to others
9 quick ways to kick up your success in reaching out to others
At this stage of the social media and Internet game, you cannot give stuff away anymore even if it is of significant value or in the best interest for folks to take you up on your offer.
What stands in your way to make an impact on people such that they will eventually look at your mail and / or web site? Very recently I had to realize that I was not following my own advice. Here is what I learned the hard way.
- Personalize your message. One sure fire way for your message to be regarded as fluff and consequently end up in the junk mail folder in the future is to send a mass e-mail without personally addressing each recipient. Just did that recently – ouch! Use the Mail Merge function of your text processing software, e.g. Word and then pick the e-mail format template. You can certainly try www.mailchimp.com as well, but make sure that there is a way to get in touch with you directly.
- Make it really short and relevant. This one really goes a mile. Get to the point quickly and provide an interesting headline, deliver what you want to say and have a call to action handy. Then stop and do not add any more stuff. Watch your view and reply rate climb.
- Your message must be congruent with what you and your brand stand for. Do you know what you and the brand YOU are as seen by the viewer? Ask yourself the question if the message that you are sending matches how you are being perceived.
- Web links have to work and point to the correct place. The more accurate your links are, the greater the chance people will actually check them out. Also, this extra effort pays off in the long run, as it increases trust. Would you trust opening someone’s links in the future if last time they ended up in never-never-land?
- Spell and grammar check. Too simple and irrelevant you say to yourself? You couldn’t be more wrong. I have had people comment on my mistakes in blogs and guess what, it doesn’t breed trust does it? Your credibility is going down the tubes and it is tough regaining ground. Make sure to spell check and proof read your stuff at least twice before you click on send.
- Free has to mean FREE. No left hooks please. Keep your promise. Nothing is worse for folks to figure out that what they signed up for is really only for free for a little while. There are many caveats to this one and a whole gaggle of marketers mess this one up really badly. Once you burn a prospect with this one, you will unlikely ever end up with an order.
- Quality almost always trumps quantity. Drive up your content and make it count. Send this out fewer times rather than carpet bomb your followership with mails. Some follow up never hurts, but do not start stalking people. Are you in it for significance or just success? Success is the report card of success (Click to tweet this).
- Readers choose with their mouse clicks. That is a very sobering realization, isn’t it? The people whose opinion who should be listening to will never drop you a mail telling you what annoyed them. They don’t take the time to find out what your phone number is either so they can tell you in person what you can do better. That is the kind of feedback you need though. The power of the Internet and the social media that comes with it, is extremely powerful (there are better and best practices). Any click you miss will lead almost always to a chronic lack of information. This is for you to figure out.
- Timely response to follow up questions is a must. Common sense isn’t common practice and thus this one unfortunately also does not automatically go without stating the obvious: When you put yourself out there, than make sure all answers and requests are in queue for answering them in a timely fashion. Otherwise, it would be better to not even ask for any feedback or commentary in the first place.
One final thought to share is that sometimes it may be better to increase the price rather than watering your rock star content down and try giving it away for free. Free sometimes means cheap and of low quality. Not a good position to be in. Please have at it, if you want to venture into philanthropy though.
To most folks free means there is a lingering commitment hook around when they open up your stuff. If it is great content and your brand name is established, and you think you need to do more free marketing leave the pricing alone. It may seem counter intuitive, but I think it is more powerful when you go for significance and congruence.