A few months ago I met with a group of business leaders to listen to a visiting expert present a session about how to manage e-mails, versus letting your e-mails manage you. Most of my colleagues discovered how to avoid e-mail distractions. What I heard was, “How to help others get noticed.”
Avoiding e-mail distractions
Let’s start with what the others heard: “How to avoid e-mail distractions.” Let’s face it, e-mail is like oxygen – we just can’t live without it. Yet, for all the time it saves, e-mail is rudely invasive. I’d venture to guess that if an e-mail lands in your inbox while you’re reading this article, you’re going to be notified, and if you’re notified you’re going to be distracted. So how do you avoid all the oxygen-sucking distractions of e-mail without giving up its benefits? Perhaps you’ve already taken it upon yourself to “fix” your e-mail with today’s best practices:
- Mark unknown and unwelcome senders as spam.
- Set up rules to filter out things you might read some day, but don’t see as valuable now.
- Turn off the “ding” that alerts you to new messages and your immediate attention.
Now, pretend you were sitting in the same room as me listening to the offered tips on e-mail management. You would have heard tips just like the ones mentioned above. And you wouldn’t have been alone. The other people that were in the room are business people too. They’re leaders of tech companies, window installers, bankers, etc. They represent your customers and prospects, and they’re being coached on how to ignore messages they receive that have no perceived value.
The lesson this presenter was teaching was simple: pay attention to messages of value and ignore messages that have no value. But don’t we already do that naturally? Don’t we think of those no-value messages as nothing more than annoyances? Successful marketing messages cannot be an annoyance. If they are, they’re turned into an ignored message the instant the receiver presses the delete key or shuffles the message off to the “Later” folder. Whether that message handling is manual or automated, your message is doomed if it’s considered an annoyance. Don’t let the simplicity of this statement pass you by: If your marketing message is perceived as an annoyance, it won’t get noticed. Your message has to rise above that. Remember:
- You succeed when your marketing messages get noticed.
- It’s more important to make sure your customers’ marketing messages get noticed. Your customers are counting on you to help them deliver effective marketing messages. If your customers succeed, then you succeed!
- Use the right medium to deliver the message. Printers, this is where you can shine!
Direct-mail advertising gets noticed
There’s a place for marketing messages delivered by e-mail, but when you send a marketing e-mail you’re competing with a lot of other e-mail messages too. All too often that very important e-mail gets no further than the trash or spam folder. E-mail shouldn’t be the only way to get noticed. What does get noticed? Direct mail advertising! Consider these survey statistics compiled by smallbiztrends.com”
- 54 % of consumers want to receive mail from brands they’re interested in.
- 59 % of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
- 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.
Statistics like that make it easy to see why direct-mail advertising continues to be a powerful channel to deliver messages that get noticed. That’s a message you can act on, and it’s a message you can share with your print-buying customers. This is your strength. Play to that strength by showing your customers the power of a monthly direct-mail advertising campaign. Let presenters like the one I mentioned continue to teach others how to avoid e-mail distractions. You have another lesson to teach – tell your customers that direct mail advertising actually works! There’s also a lot less competition for eyeballs using direct mail these days, so it’s easier to stand out from all the unwelcome marketing distractions. Bottom line: Direct-mail advertising helps you and your customers get noticed. Period!