Friday, July 8, 2011

What Happens When Everything is Relevant?

Right now, adopters of marketing automation have a leg-up in that our messages are presumably more relevant than those still incorporating batch & blast messaging. We have the advantage of right time, right message, right person workflows.

But as marketing automation adoption continues to skyrocket, what happens when everyone’s messages are relevant? Now what? Competition for attention becomes even more challenging.

Even now, my inbox is already full of relevant messages. For example, I am a member of at least 20 LinkedIn Marketing Automation groups and continue to receive extremely relevant discussion topics all day long.

So how can you get your marketing email to move to the front of the line?
  • Urgency
  • Importance
All other things being relevant (excuse the pun), we tend to focus on those messages that are (1) Urgent, then (2) Important.

An email from my bank suspecting fraud on my account is both urgent and important. I would stop everything and take action.

An email reminding me I only have 30 minutes left to register for a popular workshop is urgent and worthy of my immediate attention as well (assuming it is relevant and important).

An email inviting me to a webinar 5 weeks from now may be important but it is not urgent.

Many studies indicate that people wait until the last minute before taking action. I recently helped a client with a webinar registration test in which over 55% of the registrations were submitted within 24 hours of the event, despite the initial invitation and reminder emails being sent 2 weeks prior. Leveraging the last minute is a sure-fire method of getting your message to the top of the list and “forcing” action.

Don’t’ Fake Urgency

You can’t always create urgency when there really isn’t any. Don’t fake it whatever you do. We all hear the radio commercial that makes an offer to the next 20 callers only, that runs every 2 hours.

Making it Important

If you can't make it urgent, try and make it important. I know everything we marketers send out is extremely important (at least in our eyes) but it may not be perceived that way by the recipient (shocking I know). One way to help sell importance is to make it scarce.

You’ve developed an eBook that contains information rarely seen before. Your offer is a complete paradigm shift, a game changer. You’ve figured out a way to put a square peg in a round hole. Make your message important by including scarcity when possible.

If there is no urgency, and your message is not particularly earth-shattering, at least make it convenient. This is one reason video is so successful. It’s easy and requires very little effort. If I’m confronted with 20 relevant messages, I’m definitely responding to the one that requires the least effort to respond to first.

As an early marketing automation adopter you may not need to leverage these tactics now, but you will. Better to leverage them now.

P.S. So what happens when down the road, everything becomes relevant, urgent, important and convenient? I’m not sure what we do. Maybe we put down our devices and pay attention to the person next to us?

Visit my brand new website and learn more about marketing automation

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Automation Best Practices Consultant

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