Making Messages Matter

Jonathan Imberi
2002

"You want to go where everybody knows your name." The theme song from "Cheers," the popular sitcom of the '80s, held great wisdom. With all of the bars in Boston, a group of regulars always made their way to that watering hole because the bartenders treated them like family.

Promises Unfulfilled

Similar to the mahogany bar at Cheers, the Internet has been positioned as a platform that will truly enable a one-to-one relationship between vendor, supplier, and customer. Imagine if a company could truly understand the needs of their customer base on an individual level and describe their value proposition in specific terms to every prospective customer. Imagine, again, if that connection could be made effectively and cost-efficiently through the delivery of interactive messages. It would be as if individual face-to-face sales calls were being made, resulting in a huge paradigm shift in message delivery. Well... stop imagining because it’s here, it’s real, and it’s called SendJax!

The Evolution Continues 

Early interactive companies set up storefronts in the form of web sites aimed at attracting prospective buyers with content or transactional opportunities tailored to their specific needs. The hope was that those in need would happen upon the web site while they were surfing; and surfers would be so engaged once they visited, that they would bookmark the location and return when the need arose again. Companies in search of an increased customer base took to advertising heavily, both online and offline, to drive customer acquisition. Sadly for many, however, these efforts did little or nothing to retain customers or prospects. 

Enter e-mail and database marketing, the latest evolutionary step in the interactive media deployment arsenal. There is little doubt that permission-based e-mail messaging holds the greatest promise on delivering true one-to-one messaging. Yet, in a media and marketing world that looks for quick fixes and simple solutions, there is a danger lurking in the current stage of e-mail communications. Truly effective e-mail is based on relevance, not reach. Lately, it seems that companies are destined to make the same mistake in using this media as they have with others. We hear of message deployment described as "blasting" against a universe of customers. Have we learned nothing from the evolution of mass media in the last 10 years? 

Consumers have become much more selective in the way they receive messaging. Our world blasts messages at them at every potential intersection. Whether you're at home, in an elevator, in a public restroom, on a street, or at a sporting event, some company is gunning for you. The result of all this spamming has been a heightened level of selectivity and filtering of messages by the consumer. How many direct mail solicitations or catalogs have you thrown out without even opening? 

Relevance Matters 

Companies must not be lazy about their message delivery. SendJax is optimized to provide a high degree of segmentation and profiling variables, but must be leveraged to sculpt the appropriate customer segments and targets within your customer database. These segments can group customers by interests, buying patterns, transactional histories, or any other combination of attributes. They allow the company to take a 360-degree view of its customers, leveraging all customer touch points to build relevance. 

Careful consideration must be paid to crafting messages to the individual. The promise of developing a true one-to-one relationship can be measured only through building relevant messaging to a willing recipient over time. In short, message relevance builds response, retention, and overall return on investment (ROI). The experts at SendJax are willing and able to assist you in every aspect of creating these relevant messages to captivate your customers. 

The Messaging Cycle 

Think strategically. You've worked hard to develop the perfect "first" message to a prospective customer. Now it's time to map out your communications plan. Think about triggering the follow-up messages based on your initial effort. What is the appropriate response for those who didn't respond? For those who did respond but didn't purchase? For those who did respond and did purchase? 

Batch-and-blast companies who wait to assess the effectiveness of the medium only after all the data on all the customers is calculated will lose their competitive advantage and repeat mistakes of the past. Customer retention is a real-time endeavor. Delays in customer response or performance are deadly to retaining the customer. You must be planning the ongoing dialogue from the moment you initiate an acquisition or retention marketing effort. If you don't have someone in your organization focused on this right now, then you need SendJax. 

Some argue that with the costs of e-messaging delivery in the fractions of pennies, all of this work is time consuming and unnecessary. In rare cases, bulk messaging will yield the response seen in other mass media; however, while blasting away at your audience may get you some notice today, it won't help build your competitive advantage tomorrow. Over the long haul, consumers will buy from those who take the time to deliver to them relevant communication, whether it's information, offers, promotions, or advice. The idea behind SendJax is that today's marketing should be focused on building lifetime value based on relevance, not reach! 

It's time to use SendJax to design contextual messaging delivery that's truly relevant and meaningful. No third-party customer list or mass mailing efficiency will ever compare to knowing your customer better than the competition. Remember that relevance builds response, retention, and ROI. Don't just take it from me... ask the guys at Cheers!