We’ve all been on the receiving end of mass marketing. Be it direct mail campaigns, email newsletters, advertising or social media marketing, it is difficult to engage with content that doesn’t speak to one’s individual or business interests and needs. Unfortunately, conserving resources can mean less time spent personalizing one’s marketing. To effectively engage prospects, customers and leads, organizations and individuals alike need to take the time to build relationships and personalize at least a portion of their marketing efforts. Here are a few places to start:
Face it. Business moves at a rapid pace. It is much more efficient to use the auto filled “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” than it is to personalize the message. The reality is that those few seconds spent personalizing the invitation to connect can mean the difference between becoming just a number and starting to build a meaningful business relationship. Here are a few simple ways to personalize the message:
1) Acknowledge how you met the person — “Hi Joe, It was great meeting you at last night’s Ad Club event. Let’s keep in touch.”
2) Address why you want to connect – “Hi Jane, I am a freelance journalist and work with many local PR agencies. Can we grab coffee some time?”
3) Talk up your network – “Hi Sue, I had coffee with Jim Smith yesterday and he said we should connect. Can I give you a call?”
Sharing other users content is great. Want to do more than just share great information? Let the creator know why you shared their content. This can be done by retweeting their content and including a little note:
Great tips. Very helpful for new PR pros RT @janedoe 5 Tips for Pitching Reporters: LINK
Or, by retweeting the message as is and subsequently @-replying the author in a separate message:
@janedoe Enjoyed your post today on pitching reporters. Tip #3 is very helpful!
Tradeshows are a business card mecca. Take the time to make notes on business cards as to how you met people and/or what you discussed. This information can help in crafting a personalized follow-up email when you return to the office or providing a relevant starting point for a subsequent phone conversation. Just because you met 20 people at the same tradeshow doesn’t mean you can take a one-size-fits-all approach to following-up.
Does your company send out a monthly e-newsletter? Chances are the topics you cover may not apply to all of your recipients. Take the time to segment your list by industry, location, company size, or other qualifying criteria and make appropriate tweaks to your content in order to develop a product that is relevant and valuable to your contacts.
As we have seen with the ongoing and explosive growth of countless social media platforms, we are in an age where it is about communicating with clients, prospects and customers on their own terms. While this may mean Facebook for some and phone calls for others, it also makes a case for personalizing not only the way that information is delivered but honing the content to appeal to individual’s professional and personal interests and needs.