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Sunday, July 12, 2009

The human (and personal) connection

This afternoon, my wife provided one of those insightful wake-up calls. I was explaining to her how we were starting to think about improving our methodologies in communicating within the inbound communications and requests for the Construction Marketing Ideas newsletter. I told her about my work with Clay Posey.

She gave me one of those looks that only someone who has lived with you for 16 years and knows you inside and out could get away with. "Why don't you just call them yourself?"

Gulp. Shucks, yes, this blog is receiving upwards of five leads a day, and many only provide email address contact information, but how long does it really take to respond with a personal, thoughtful email instead of just an autoresponder reply? And why do I need to pass these initial leads on to a sales representative within my organization when they are, indeed, responding to me, personally?

Tim Klabunde made something of a similar point last week when he suggested that I not use Constant Contact to communicate my offer of editorial profiles in the Design and Construction Report to people who attended the Design and Construction Network Happy Hour in Washington on June 30.

"My only comment would be that I think you will get a better response if you don't use constant contact as it would be much more personal. In the office I use eMail Merge from Outlook," he wrote.

I have some fear that my "individualized responses" to people who respond to the blog/eletter invitation will start turning out to be a little bit canned -- and that may be the case, but does it hurt to communicate directly?

I think not. For the next month, I'll keep track of the number of leads who received a personal communication from me, and the results. We'll see what happens.

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