Friday, May 22, 2009

Send out more to get less results

When I was in college decades ago I learned something that sounds like a new principle in the electronic media world.

I was young punk on the student council. We drafted a letter to the Chancellor of the University. It was a well-worded response an issue (I can't remember what) that we demanded the University take action on. I had a great idea: let's send this letter to everyone at the University--faculty, students and the University Chancellor. More people seeing the letter meant more action--right?

Well, our Student Council President, an older, wiser guy (he had to be 21, 22 years old), stopped me in my tracks. He said, "LaBov, nice letter, but we're delivering it only to the Chancellor, because the more people it's sent to, the less progress we'll make." He was right. A generic letter mailed or posted to a thousand people would have watered down the issue and would have made it more difficult for the Chancellor to do anything.

Same thing with electronic media and marketing in general. want to get a result? Don't send a generic email. Don't send your company's newsletter to hundreds of unsuspecting people. Personalize each message if you want results.

My company's newsletter, PB & J (Passion, Bravery and Joy) is actually a collection inspiration stories about people and/or companies that show bravery and passion. We send it to friends, clients, and prospects one at a time. If the recipient likes it, they can subscribe to it, if not, they don't. But they first receive a personal message from one of us. It takes a lot more time, but it will get results.

Look at the marketing you do--how much of it is generic, impersonal? Look at those who market to you. How do you respond to it if it's generic? If your name is spelled wrong? If they have a "cut and paste" error in the message and accidentally have someone else's name in it? 'Nuff said.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond Marketing Communications

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