I regularly receive messages through LinkedIn and email with offers for this free webinar or that free content, all because this person and I are connected through a huge group, or they found my info on such-and-such a website…. And I delete the message every time, often without even skimming it.
Why? Because I have no relationship with these people. They are “cold-calling” me and many, many other people --- randomly throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. It’s a pretty vague strategy and it generates a lot of misses. It can also generate a negative response and hurt their overall brand image when they’re reaching out to people as though they have a connection when, really, they don’t.
What is a better way of doing this? In your own marketing, how can you connect with someone and increase the likelihood – nay, guarantee – that they will read your email or open your LinkedIn message, and welcome your content with interest and curiosity?
Get to know them, rather than pretending you do. Express interest in them – their work, their issues, their successes – and in the process, they will get to know you.
Invite them and ask their permission, rather than throwing your content at them and hoping it sticks. Not just, “Can I add you to my email list” but even a more engaging, “Based on what we’ve discussed, I think you’ll find the content useful. In fact, you’ve given me some things to think about and I may write about it this month. Keep an eye out!”
Recipients of your message are more likely to open your message and read it if they (1) know who you are and (2) expect the message. Why? It’s human nature. We talk with, listen to, connect with and buy from people we know and trust. Not companies – people.
So when you reach out, reach out as a person, and do things that will help them know and trust you.
Introduce yourself and ask questions so you get to know them a bit.
Save time and effort on both your parts by confirming that they are in fact someone who might find you content and offerings useful.
Then ask them if you can send them something, while relating it to them, their business, and their needs.
Building a relationship of trust and understanding will result in them noticing your message, clicking on it and actually reading it and possibly even taking the action that you ask them for. This does take a little bit more time than just pelting the world with your content, but the long-term impact for you, your business and your customers’ success is much, much better.