In today’s wired world, electronic communications are rarely extraordinary. Everyday is filled with emails, text messages, tweets, likes and follows that typically fulfill some utilitarian purpose. These messages are quick, taking minutes to draft, and rarely involve thoughtfully written prose. One could easily say, “This is simply the natural evolution of communication.” While that may be the case, I am not totally convinced.
Thinking in terms of relationship marketing, it is important to select communication methods that help you effectively express your intentions for developing long-term client relationships. The communication method cannot be in the form of advertisements, public relations, or sales promotions. While technology has provided channels for collaboration in the form of social media, it just does not seem like this medium adequately reaches the level of interaction needed to really make a human connection.
If advertisements, public relations, sales promotions, and social media do not make the right sort of connection, what is left? At first blush, email marketing appears to be a great choice. However, when I reflect on my crowded early morning inbox, my marketing brain says, “How will my email message ever stand out among the rest?” Why should I go through the effort of email marketing if the desired receiver can, in one swift “click”, send the message straight to the trash? I cannot help but think email marketing could use a little advice from the handwritten note.
Let's make believe the handwritten note was conducting a knowledge transfer with its digital counterpart. The handwritten note would most likely cover the following points:
A real person sends a handwritten note.
Let’s state the obvious. Personalizing an email message is so much more effective than a bulk email message. When sending an email message to valued audiences, make sure it comes from a real person, a living-breathing member of your team.
Make sure to address the receiver’s concerns.
It is time to get back to our handwritten roots and think about what truly interests prospective clients. Be thoughtful and think about what makes them tick, who they are (demographics), and what they do everyday (industry). It is time to go beyond just pressing the email send button and really dive deep into market segmentation practices to draft the message then deliver.
Always communicate your gratitude and appreciation.
The simple act of sending messages of client appreciation will encourage loyalty. Investing the time to nurture long-term client relationships will result in a more stable, consistent sales volume.
Send messages that show you value client relationships.
When you provide content that specifically addresses the concerns of the receiver, you will discover more engagement. As a result, you will build a reputation as reliable sender that truly values the client relationship.
A well-crafted handwritten note demonstrates a greater time investment.
The right combination of graphic appeal and personalization will capture the receiver’s attention. Draft an email message as if you were sitting down to craft a handwritten note. Do not be cheap in quality or depth; illustrate a message that says that your are committed for the long term.
Consider including a thoughtful gift.
Provide the sender with an offer. Before you send the recipient the link to access the offer, provide a message that says I was thinking of you and discuss why you think this offer would directly benefit them. Be concise and make your case.
There is so much wisdom in the handwritten note. In the digital world, there are a range of methods for capturing the attention of desired audiences. It is also important to recognize that these audiences are being bombarded by a number of communications throughout the day. If you are truly interested in developing worthwhile client relationships, it is up to you to take the time to develop a meaningful message and approach that backs up your heartfelt intentions.