“Are you listening to me?” How many times have you heard that question? As a child, and as an adult, that’s a question we all ask or get asked on many occasions. What about as email marketers? Have you been listening, or talking? Email and all the other social media channels are interactive and designed to be bidirectional. If you forget this, you are missing out on half the power of integrated online marketing. This past week we lost someone who passionately believed in the importance of the conversation in email marketing. His name was Trey Pennington and he boiled it down to three simple desires people have that brands must be sensitive to: 1) Everyone wants to be heard. 2) Everyone wants to be understood. 3) Everyone wants his or her life to count. It sounds pretty simple, but the hard part comes in when you ask yourself what your marketing is doing to make the above happen. What are you doing with your email marketing to demonstrate to people that you are hearing them, understanding them and demonstrating how much you value them? If it were up to me, every email marketer would have the above three points posted to their office wall. It would remind them that relevancy and engagement are things that are derived from pulling people into a conversation and not from pushing out sell lines and spec sheets. Leverage the strength of each social channel to provide your customers with choices of how they can make themselves heard by you. Encourage them to participate and always make it clear that their opinions matter to you! Sailthru provides technology that allows you to provide relevant content based on your subscribers interactions with your content. If you combine this technology with a commitment to listen and interact with your customers, you are head and shoulders above most of your competition. Always remember:

  • Comments on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or any other channel deserve a same day response.
  • Have a reply address which is monitored and respond within 24 hours.
  • Weave those interactions into your ongoing company narrative and acknowledge the value of same constantly.

  Ask people to tell you their stories and then share their comments and suggestions. Better yet, use those interactions to improve how you produce and market your business – that’s the best way to show people how much you value them.