How to make real connections in a virtual world, a goal for the future
By Brendan King
My 2015 resolution is to foster authenticity where most of us spend increasing amounts of time: online. While communication has never been easier thanks to the Internet, authentic connections seem harder to come by in the virtual space.
In my company, we are all about the online world—live it, breathe it, monitor it, study it. Yet we, too, wanted to find a better way to connect online with the people who care about our company. We want to communicate the information that they care about where it’s most convenient for them. Here’s the tricky thing: About 77 percent of business owners prefer to be contacted via email, but our inboxes are so overwhelmed that it is difficult to sift out what is important.
At Vendasta, we have resolved to find a better way, taking two paths to progress: lots of research and some plain old trial and error. Both methods led to the same conclusion: The approach should be timely, relevant emails that are personalized and compelling.
It’s so simple that it works. And in keeping it simple, we are reaffirming that a picture is worth a thousand words. In our case, a simple, personalized, emailed graphic we call Snapshot. A Snapshot report shows businesses what they look like on the Web in terms of visibility, listings, social, website and how they compare with their competitors.
Because we have been collecting this type of data for years, we have the ability to customize the information for each business and highlight the areas where they are doing their best and worst, while offering them higher-level context. As a result, businesses are compelled to open their emails.
So in 2015, we resolve to keep forging the path to more authentic communications, recognizing that it is not what you sell but how you sell it.