The biggest opportunity of all is not your next direct mail. It's not even the campaign you conduct by FedEx and same day follow up call - we see through that already. You won't find it by asking people to give you their email address to get last year's white paper. People have learned to use a disposable email address.
The most you can hope is not that a few people tell you your newsletter is nice - or that they don't unsubscribe but just use the delete key. It's not that they wouldn't want to hurt your feelings. They just don't want to deal with you at all.
The biggest opportunity is not a gimmick to get your message out there to more people who are not interested in buying your services. The biggest opportunity in fact is in listening for and finding those people who want and need your services. Those who are already looking for you.
So many ask me about social media as if it were the answer to all the questions they've been asking about reconnecting with customers and prospective customers. They do not realize that they already have the answers - social media is about social. It may provide you with tools and ways to discover those who are already predisposed.
Too many focus on the tools - give me a blog, fan cast me on Facebook, I'll raise you a Twitter. The latest Web site agency fashion is to stream the Twitter accounts of management on the home page. I'm not gonna go all ROI on you on a Friday, but that doesn't tell me much about me as a client, does it?
Remember it's social. It allows you to more easily join or build a conversation that is about your customers - and not about you. Making it about them means helping them connect with each other. It also means that your product or service makes them look good. That's where the real value is.
And if you're a skeptic, or worse a cynic - well, that means you're missing the biggest opportunity of all.
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