Through the internet revolution, a lot of importance has been given to all the digital forms of communication.
The truth is that nowadays, it is far easier to communicate globally by using all the methods given to us.
But, what is the weight of all those different methods? When should we use each one and what impact do they have on the recipient of the message?
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was telling me about his Google advertising ambitions. He was so excited explaining to me that the campaign he chose is going to make his add show thousands of times, that he is going to have thousands of impressions daily, and that at the end of the month, the whole country would know his business.
I couldn’t hold myself so I laughed and he was so puzzled about that.
I told him, “Andreas, look. A couple of years ago, I ran an experimental website here in Spain. The website was promoting e-books. Through google ads, it took me some months to create a list of 1,000 subscribers.
Those where people that saw my add, took action, and clicked the “subscribe” button on the page, received my email and confirmed (double opting) their subscription.
Since then, they received info emails from me on a weekly basis. When the time was mature enough, I tried to sell to this 1,000-member list the product I had for 29 €. You know how many bought?”
“How many?” was Andreas immediate question.
- Yes, one. This means 0.1 % from the total amount of my list members bought this product. People that showed interest in my website, people that interacted with my website.
Now, my very important question is:
Do you think that the weight or the importance you give to your online communication has the impact you think?
Or, don’t you think that us internet people have the tendency to overestimate the power of online communication.
Well, I have some bad news for you my friends.
Here is the List of the importance, the influence a communication method has to your prospects.
Communication methods – 1
Social Media The influence that Social Media has on your prospects are in the bottom of this list. Yes, they do target a specific audiences and yes, they can spark actions to your clients, however, I wouldn’t put my expectations to high.
People use social media to get news, to follow friends, and to start conversations. They are very important for your online face, to have presence on line, for people to know you. They are also very useful if you want to start controversial discussions with your followers or give information for your business on a simple and without a fuss way.
My CrossFit box, uses Facebook to publish the next day’s WOD to the members of the Box, a restaurant owner uses Facebook to announce special events that take place in his restaurant. Every couple of days he publishes recipes, videos and information material that are compatible to his restaurant and once per month or bi weekly or bi monthly he publishes also special events of his restaurant.
Does this work? Yes, it does! Does it have the impact he expects? Not really, but it adds to the success of his business.
ON THE NEW DIGITAL WORLD SOCIAL MEDIA IS IMPORTANT AND CAN ADD TO YOUR BUSINESS, HOWEVER DO NOT OVEREVALUATE ITS IMPORTANCE.
Social media is the weakest of all communication methods
Communication methods – 2
Email Marketing and Personalized emails Email Marketing is THE great way to keep in touch with YOUR Audience. And I put the “your” in Bold Capital letters because this audience is your audience that subscribed to your email list and is there for you to communicate. It is not dependable on Googles Algorithm, it is not dependable on Facebook’s Policy and is a direct line of communication between you and your clients.
Email Marketing can be pretty personalized and I am not only speaking to the fact that you can address each one your prospects with his name, but you can send customized emails to specific audiences or target groups you have within your email list.
A prospect can see that the mail is a mass email, however, email’s marketing power is not to underestimate and is the only way to achieve mass communications with your followers.
There can be no business nowadays that does not use email marketing.
When you ask your clients name and telephone nr, always ask for his email. ALWAYS.
Personalized emails are even better than email marketing. However, because they are personalized, they cannot be used in a mass scale as email marketing campaigns do.
Write several templates that address the most common questions & subjects your prospects are interested in and use them to save work.
Add this content manual that is related to each unique client or prospect. In that way you are going to save a lot of work, however personalized emails do take time.
HubSpot can be a great help for creating personalized emails.
Communication methods – 3
SMS Marketing or Text Marketing The average open rate of a text message sits at about 99 % , while email ranges from 28-33 % .
Next to this, the click through rates are vastly different. Include a link in your text message, and you will observe a CTR of about 36 %; for email marketing, the CTR usually sits between 6-7 % .
SMS Marketing though has some limitations.
- It assumes that you have the telephone nr. of your client / prospect
- It is more thoughtful to add value to small – medium domestic businesses (for example, you have a local store and you inform your clients that the new model of X product just arrived)
- Has a higher cost
- The message that you pass has a certain length of 160 characters, which makes it a bad option if you want to pass a message with more content
Summary: Excellent communication but very specific.
Communication methods – 4
And now, let’s talk about the Game Changers.
THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT THAN THE PERSONAL TOUCH YOU HAVE WITH YOUR CLIENTS.
NO EMAIL, NO SMS, NO FACEBOOK POST CAN REPLACE THE POWER OF PERSONAL COMMUNICATION.
THERE ARE 2 WAYS OF PERSONAL COMMUNICATION.
No 1. The Personal Visit, when you visit your client face to face. There is no replacement to that. Your physical presence makes the difference, both yours and his body language create a bond that cannot be created otherwise.
Your physical presence also makes it more difficult for the client to say “no.”
No 2. The telephone call is the second most powerful way of communication and although is not as powerful as the personal visit to a prospect it is way more powerful than the best email you are going to send to someone or the best Tweet you are going to tweet.
Personal visits and telephone calls are not “marketing” any more, but are pure sales and although many times the personal visit might be difficult to accomplish for practical and cost related reasons, there is no excuse for not placing phone calls.
So, if you are a young entrepreneur, a businessman owing a small – medium business and you think you are going to use technology exclusively to sell then…
I’VE GOT BAD NEWS FOR YOU, MY FRIEND.
IF YOU WANT TO SELL, PICK UP THE TELEPHONE AND START CALLING YOUR CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS.
IF YOU CAN VISIT THEM, EVEN BETTER. BUT IF YOU CAN’T, CALL THEM.
And, even if you would like to think that by social media advertising you are going to get results, I have a way better way to get far better results.
Make a list of your potential clients, search on Google, on Wikipedia, on the commercial chamber of your community and find the companies and prospects that could be your potential clients and cold call them.
Yes, COLD CALL THEM. You are going to bring way more results than by any Facebook add. And if you don’t want to call them personally, then train one employee of yours on cold calling and let him do the job.
QUESTION: DOES COLD CALLING WORK?
ANSWER: YES, IT DOES
So…I am sorry to destroy your Digital era selling fantasies, but if you want to sell, you must go out of your comfort zone and visit your clients or call them. Calling is one of the best communication methods.
There is no way around it.