It almost seems that the art of writing a letter is a lost art, or at the least hidden in the dungeons of people living in a by-gone era. We are so concerned, almost fixated with social connections, that we sometimes mistake the broadcast of some dribble on the company Facebook page as a valid and effective way of reaching out to our customers; a way to connect with them, a way to become friends and engage in meaningful conversation.
The social connection industry is huge; it proudly wears the marketing crown and promotes itself as the only way to do business.
Like all waves of enthusiasm, social media marketing will be dropped like the proverbial hot potato as soon as the next “big thing” arrives to challenge it, take that crown, and become the newest form of white noise.
…and that’s my point. Whilst everyone is “connecting”, there are very few conversations. The hysteria that many believe that their Facebook post or twitter feed are looking for just becomes another one of the hundreds of million pieces of same-word drab that people ignore. There is no connection, and when there is, it is ignored. Marketing plans concentrate on getting the message out there and largely ignore the two-way nature that a real conversation should be. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, who is responsible for it’s monitoring? Is it your sales manager or the pimply work experience kid? Should it be someone who truly wants to make it a meaningful funnel to generate leads?
Crafting some enticing sales orientated letter without it being a sales letter takes some skill. There are bucket-loads of people and business out there that will do it for a fee, but you can almost guarantee that the message that you will be presented with will be a slightly modified template of something that has already been used. It might work for a while, but consistency and repetition will almost certainly mean that the only repeat business that will be generated will be back to the letter supplying author/business. This becomes their service income stream rather than yours.
Assembling words into a coherent message is not a skill that we are born with. You need to develop this skill. Completing a marketing degree is not the luxury that we all have, so count this out as a realistic option. So, if you have a word phobia, practice, practice, practice. Start with a message and then construct 50 or 100 words to describe it. There is no one more enthusiastic about a product or service than yourself. Create many drafts, look at the style of messages that you are currently already receiving. Keep the messages that appealed to you and plagiarise them. Google marketing letters and see what the “wisdom of the crowd” dishes up. Incorporate an explanation what you do – be specific; add case studies or existing customer feedback. Write letters to thank a customer for their order or their feedback – make it personal.
Test your letters as soon as you have a couple of good ones. It doesn’t matter if they generate zero returns; keep at it. In a very short space of time you will get a feel for what works for you, what feels comfortable, and what your customers react to.
I can guarantee that the more you do this the easier it becomes. The more letters you send the more different you will be from the rest of the pack. The biggest problem that you will face is who to send these to; this is a good problem to have.