There is an overwhelming amount of fantastic—and free—“inbound 101” content on the web. here’s a tip that so many miss . . . .
More than anything, it’s important to be human.
When people ask me about the future of lead generation, the number one idea i raise is that authenticity, funnily enough, is becoming a business necessity. truth equals money, because it builds trust and connection. as inboxes and brains get busier over the coming decade(s), authenticity as a person or a brand helps you stand out from the crowd.
People want to hear from people—not machines. for example, in b2b marketing, a lot of newsletters look pretty—with logos, images, colors, and html. while they might look “professional,” fancy newsletters may not be the most effective way to write to your audience.
here are six ways to be human with your team, clients, and marketing
- share personal stories with customers—including the embarrassing ones, in tasteful ways, when they’re relevant, whether in your newsletter or over the phone. the more you share about yourself, the good and the bad, the easier it is for others to find a connection to you. i’m still surprised how many of my friends and clients (like ken krogue of insidesales.com and kyle porter of salesloft) were adopted or have adopted. no one mentioned it until after they found out that i’d adopted a bunch of kids. (why would they?)
- add your own style or personal flourish to messages or posts. don’t be afraid to embrace your quirks. for example: jason Likes Capitals. (he even jokes he uses all the ones i don’t). i write all my emails in lowercase, e.e. cummings style. yes, including in my newsletter and to fortune 500 clients. and i sign off with a simple smiley face and nickname. like this… 🙂 air
- “flourish” means enhancing something, not turning it into a circus.
- other ways include using humor, or adding a picture, tagline, or catch-phrases.
- try out more videos and videoconferencing.
- send handwritten letters—or take a picture of one to send.
almost every time i send a newsletter out, i get some responses from people like these (these are all real):
“please don’t send me emails. i find this tasteless” [mind you, this person signed up for the newsletter]
“please fuck off” [at least they had manners.] “this email is embarrassing.”
“i’ve always wondered, do your newsletter emails have terrible grammar as a way to stand out from all the other emails i get in my inbox?”
i also get:
“you are hilarious aaron, i really appreciate what you are doing and the manner you do it in.”
“i *love* the radical transparency of this email!!! totally humanizes the whole thing.”
“these are the best newsletters i get. you should teach people how to write this way.”
and i’ve gotten many emails from people who’ve written, “i like this lowercase style, i’m going to try it myself.”
when you’re authentic or quirky, you’ll find some people love you, others hate you—but it’s better than being ignored because you’re bland!
don’t be afraid to try new styles that better fit you and your ideal customers.