Don't Create Clutter, Create Trust

Don’t Create Clutter, Create Trust

How you promote your company, your products and services is a very important part of the customer experience. How much clutter do you create for your customer’s email inbox? How many times does the customer miss an important message when it gets mixed into the clutter? And, it’s not just email. It’s any method of communication, which includes text messages and social channels like Facebook, Twitter and others. Do you have a low readership or open rate on your communications? Perhaps it’s because the communications are more promotional than valuable.

If your customers are willing to give you their email address or mobile phone number for you to text them – or if they sign up to follow you on a social channel – then you had better make it worth their while to do so. Otherwise, they will unsubscribe, delete the messages, or eventually turn against you for violating their trust.

Seth Godin sends daily emails. Everyone wants them and expects them. That’s 365 – and every fourth year 366 – messages. His messages add value. He’s insightful and people look forward to reading his daily comments. They are short and to the point. And, every once in a while he’ll promote his newest book or a public event he is producing. And when he does promote, people buy. The reason is that he offers so much value before he promotes. And, the value is what helps make people trust him. I’m just guessing, but I believe that about 97%, if not more of what he sends his subscribers, is content. And, that’s a conservative guess. Out of 365 posts throughout the year, Seth may send out about a half dozen or so promotional messages.

I recently visited the very cool Taschen bookstore in Los Angeles. They actually refer to their store as a gallery, as their books are really works of art. I fell in love with the magic and circus poster books. I also love the books that feature musicians like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I signed up to receive their promotional mailings and quickly learned that their promotional mailings are unique. I received their catalog in the mail, but, this wasn’t your typical catalog, it was practically a work of art that a collector might want to keep. That’s value at another level.

This article is hopefully a good example of this lesson. I realize that not everyone will agree with the information that I share in my weekly articles. But, I hope that everyone would agree that they are not overtly promotional – that they are more informational than blatant promotion.

So, are your promotional mailings, emails, text messages and social media posts interesting enough for people to not only read but want to keep or share? Or, are they blatant promotion that causes people to unsubscribe, unfollow, or worse, never want to do business with you again? In the end, the best promotion may not be promotional at all, but interesting valuable content that your customers enjoy and look forward to receiving.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

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