An easy way to magnify your digital marketing assets: Be pleasant
Being friendly and approachable is a small and easy thing, but it makes a huge difference, and it costs you nothing besides some thought.
One company I admire, multi-factor access specialists Duo Security, sent a corporate email the other day that had a standout feature among digital marketing assets.
Instead of the too-often-seen disclaimer along the lines of “Replies to this email address will not be read” and an email address like “DO-NOT-REPLY@big-faceless-corp.com”—Gee, thanks, fellas!—Duo’s note ended with a positive: “Feel free to contact us with any questions.”
Just as nice, it came from an email address that I’m sure was chosen by someone just as annoyed as I am by those brusque, one-way emails:
Bingo—and bravo, and kudos. That’s how it should be. The rest of the email was crisp and readable, too, but it’s the tone that stuck with me: “Replies welcome” is the message that should be clear from every part of a corporate website and every interaction besides.
Sounding boards and drawing boards
As you design the public face of your corporate communications, favor brevity and respect for your audience—customers, potential customers, and passersby. And by “corporate communications,” I don’t just mean the press releases and workaday announcements that have come to be stuffed under that label.
I mean every brochure, billboard, web page, press release, scrap of documentation, email—and especially every word of your interactive voice menu options (which, we know, have recently changed).
The only real way to test this is to approach your own communications as an outsider—as honestly as you can. Ask yourself whether that email (or billboard, or brochure, or user guide) makes you smile, whether its message is clear, whether on the whole it saves you time or energy, and whether it conveys approachability.
But it’s impossible to get a real outside opinion without an actual outsider or two, even if that just means someone outside your department, to serve as a sounding board.
[Disclaimer: I’m acquainted and friends with some of the principals at Duo, but this email has nothing to do with that—it was an autogenerated follow-up after visiting the company’s site and downloading a white paper.]