Nearly every form of marketing, at any given moment, could be considered an interruption into your prospects day. As any quality marketing person should do, try to put yourself in your prospects shoes for a moment. Imagine you get to your desk and sit down to an inbox of 53 new email messages. As you sift through the messages to identify any critical communications, you become annoyed that you are required to muddle through numerous solicitation type emails. Your options are: to either ignore them, delete them, or make a mental note to possibly go back later and review those which may have caught your attention. However, you are not likely to spend much of your valuable time reading some company's pitch on their products or services at that very moment.
This is not to say that email marketing cannot be effective. Atomic sends nearly 15 million client driven emails annually. Our average open rate is approximately 40% to 50%, with a typical click-thru rate of 15% to 20%. However, even when you research the best send times, the best subject lines and craft the most compelling content, you still run the risk of hitting your prospects inbox at a time which may not be convenient for them to receive your message. "Pardon the Interruption".
Let's take a look at another waning form of outbound marketing and its impact on your prospect. Remember, you're the prospect in this example. Just as you begin to type up an email response to your boss or client about an important issue, the phone rings. It's the receptionist. They're calling to tell you that a salesperson is trying to reach you about setting up an appointment. Once again, potentially reaching out at a time when you are least receptive to their solicitation. You either tell the receptionist that you're busy and can't take the call, or, take the call and blow them off because you're too busy and stressed to pay attention to what they are saying. Or, you instruct the receptionist to simply tell the caller that you're not interested in whatever it is. No matter which route you choose, the call will be viewed as an interruption of your day. "Pardon the Interruption".
There are numerous examples of marketing interruptions. Many of which we probably don't even pay much attention to any more. There are T.V. commercials, pop up ads on websites, giant billboards blocking your view, or even, 15 minutes of movie trailers on the DVD you just picked up at Redbox. The list goes on and on. And in almost each and every case, you're somewhat frustrated or perturbed by them; making you less receptive to the information being shared or promoted. However, there is one form of marketing which is almost guaranteed not to be viewed as an interruption. That is social media marketing! You might be asking yourself, what advantages does social media have over other forms of marketing?
There are many; but in my opinion, one of the most critical advantages is the attitude of the recipient. Let's focus on that for a moment. When I try to get inside the head of my prospect, I think about when they would be most receptive to receive information about my product or service. Typically, that time is when "they have decided" to do some research on the topic at hand. Most of us these days begin our search in two ways. First we either ask our friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, or trusted partners for their advice. Or, we pull up Google and search the internet to see what we can find out there on the subject. Social media coincidentally plays a huge role in both of these typical research paths. When we search Google, we are exposed to a high percentage of social media results. From YouTube videos and Linked In profiles, to Twitter feeds and Pinterest image results. If you chose the trusted resource route, you probably went out to your social outlets and posted an inquiry to your following, asking if anyone knew of a good product or provider of that service. You may discover that you already know several people who can refer you to someone they have used and trust.
Either way it doesn't matter. The fact is, now is the time which you have dedicated to learn about a product or service. Making you more receptive to acquiring information on this topic than at any other time! It's not an email hitting your inbox at 10am on a Tuesday. It's not a phone solicitation interrupting a project, or a meeting. It's not perceived as a negative in any way. If anything, most people feel a sense of relief and satisfaction when they actually find what they are looking for, WHEN they are looking for it! We have all been there before. Sometimes it seems as if they are monitoring your every move so that they can call you at the least advantageous time. Let's turn the tables on them. Let's be prepared in the social media universe. That way when they come looking for you, you'll hit them with your best shot, knowing this is the best time to present your compelling argument as to why they should use your company, your product, or your service!