How basic human responses can build you a strong brand

It is important to remember, email is a form of communication and communication is a two way street; where meaningfulness and relevancy are the parameters to success.

People are familiar with cheesy terms some marketers use to “capture” attention and increase open rates. It is quite surprising to see some marketers get excited by open rate alone and disregard actions such as report the sender as spam, delete the email straight after opening it, unsubscribe and even complain about on social media by annoyed targeted email recipients.

Of course classic email marketing mistakes are still around, excessive use of bold letters, tacky colours, spelling mistakes, broken links, capital letters and exclamation mark. We see all these happening since email has become an official mode of communication and marketing; maybe it is quite harsh to expect seeing them all disappear overnight. But this is not the point of this article, the point of this article is to know your customers and prospects very well; buying database and pray and spray may not be the most efficient and sufficient way of running sustainable marketing campaigns. Such activities may even harm the brand image and its market position in long run; like the old school SEO activities; which all faced sanctions and penalties by Google.

In-depth understanding of consumer behaviour and psychology is the prerequisite to planning for an effective email marketing campaign and strategic execution of plans. People are busy these days and receive tens of emails everyday; they tend to prioritise and open emails from those they know and trust. So, it is not enough to have good content, it is crucial to build trust with people, your audience; and that can begin with your email subject line or simple but meaningful social media updates. Although email and social media are not games but the name of the game is optimisation. All aspects of business communication activities, including PR and SEO, go hand in hand; in particular email and social media. Thus, there is great power in optimising subject lines; this is the first impression that your email communication will make.

People tend to read email subject lines and judge the content; therefore creativity and relevancy of the subject line content is another important task in creating an email marketing campaign that drives result and ROI. So, the shorter and more meaningful the subject line the more chances for emails to be read; exactly like what editors at newspapers do when creating headlines for their stories and news.

Although traditionally everyone believes content is king but, it is important to realise purposeful and meaningful conversations upon communicating content can and will add value and give authority to the king. Therefore, creating context to tell your story through your content is crucial; this is the only sustainable way that you see your content, either in form of email or social media updates, go viral. Simply because your audience see value in consuming your content; this not only multiplies the chances of shareability of your content but also earns you trust and market credibility.

It is always great to keep up with your industry benchmarks about email marketing, open rates, response rates; but also important to do your own analysis on your own email marketing campaigns. This will help you to fully understand your audience psychology, behaviour, attitude and personality; factors that help you understand why and how they interact with your stories. Needless to say how important it is to have clean databases for email marketing; this will not only help you target effectively but also help you to increase your open rate, CTR; which will lead to favourable responses and actions.

The future of sourcing is engagement, technology made it really simple to engage with your audience at all times; taking advantage of this golden opportunity will lead you to building a strong and sustainable brand. This can start from the moment your email hits your recipients’ Inbox folder or you receive a question on Twitter; your priority must be your customers not your time.

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Social Care in plain English

Up until just three years ago, many major national and international brands believed Social Media is fad. Although they have been sceptical towards the new communication channels, they adopted the medium to monitor what’s being said about their brand. As more people are now talking about brands on Social Media and even and even take their customer service queries to the medium, brands are sure that Social Media is going to have life longer than email and even TV.

Latest studies show 26% of Brits complain about businesses by using Social Media and over 83% of those who complain, are unhappy with the response they receive. Brands have been taking every opportunity to market their products to people via Social Media but, customer care has been downplayed. Customer service is increasingly becoming important to both customers and businesses on channels like Twitter.

Social Media Twitter Customer Service Marketing Facebook LinkedIn Content Management Customer Care Social Networks social customer care How effective brands respond to customer queries on Twitter is the major contributing factor to their overall reliability and reputation. Businesses are striving these days to position as a social business; and customers of social businesses are social customers. Many companies tend to respond to customer queries based on Klout and or PeerIndex scores; something widely referred as ‘influence’ by those behind the algorithms. However, whether this will work in favour of brands’ reputation and customer satisfaction remains as an unanswered question.

Social customer care should be interpreted and assessed based on how customers and prospects are treated by brands; and how quickly and accurately their queries are dealt with by businesses on channels like Twitter. In social customer care, priority must be based on type of query not one’s “influential” score. So, brands have the responsibility of making the complicated simple for their customers.

Image from:getsatisfaction.com