These days, we get many requests to “connect.” Be it LinkedIn, Facebook, emails or other avenues, we are being asked to friend, link, network or allow contact with someone. However, many of these are not really “connections” in the true sense of the word. I know people who have over 1,000 Facebook friends or LinkedIn contacts, but they can’t possibly keep up with that many posts and they don’t associate with many of them on a regular basis. To truly connect, we have to have a bond or established communication, which requires two way traffic, mutual interest and attention.
The same is true when we are marketing or selling our products and services. To be successful, we have to create a connection. Most times, whether we are publishing an advertisement, a newsletter, a direct mail piece, a brochure, or even packaging, we are creating a one way communication. The thing is, with consumers inundated with these messages talking “at” them, they get irritated and overwhelmed. They don’t want to connect with that message, so they hit the ignore button and go back to what they were doing. Essentially, they are saying no to your friend request. In a recent issue of Advertising Age, Bryan Kennedy, President and CEO of Epsilon, said, “the biggest challenge for marketers in 2011 is an old one, but one that’s getting tougher to overcome: breaking through the clutter.”
The thing is, you are making that friend request with the best of intentions. You really do have an important message to share. They will even benefit from your message. You don’t mean to be a pest. In fact, that’s the last thing you want is for your marketing message to be seen as an intrusion or an imposition. You know if they would just take the time to connect with your piece, they would want to know about it!
There are many ways to get someone to connect with your piece. These have been studied and taught for many years. From making your message personal to making sure there’s enough white space, you can design by the rules and might get a 2% return on your investment instead of a 1% return. Hey, that’s doubling your odds, so it’s worth it. The thing is, there’s a better way to increase your odds of a connection.
Human beings have 5 senses – sight, taste, smell, touch and sound. How many of them are you engaging? Right now, in this email newsletter, we are only engaging your sight. For some, by now, we’ve even lost that. What if there was a very pleasant smell to our message… maybe a fresh pot of coffee or cookies baking? What if when you touched the newsletter, you felt a cool texture? What if the words on the page sparkled or glittered? What if there was a chance to win a prize if you scratched off a square below? Do you think you would pay more attention? Would you want to connect?
Research shows that you would. In fact, adding special effects screen printing to your piece can increase your return by double digits. We often hear of an increase of 20% or more. Now isn’t that worth considering? Think about it from your customer’s perspective. If you told them you could help design a marketing piece that could get them a double digit increased return on their investment, wouldn’t they be interested?! Of course they would. They might even accept your friend request.