The last year has been challenging for most of us. Juggling home, work and school priorities in new ways against a backdrop of continued stresses around COVID-19 has affected everybody’s attention spans. All businesses have had to adapt and adjust how they communicate to their customers and partners. Digital communications are the primary channels being used and can easily overwhelm the intended audiences. Here are five reasons your messages aren’t being heard and what you can do to improve your communications.
Too Long, So Long
Who doesn’t groan when you open a lengthy email? The average time someone will read an email is 15 to 20 seconds. Many businesses rely on newsletters, which are a great way to keep your customers in the loop. Newsletters are also useful to share a bulk of information in one email. The key to hooking the reader is to keep the content short, summarized and skimmable. A link to your company’s website can be provided for those readers who want to learn more.
One and Done
With shorter attention spans, reminders and lead time are helpful to get your customers to take action. Today’s customers may not see your message the first time. Businesses who only send a key message one time risk missing their target audience. When there is an upcoming sale or webinar, plan ahead and find opportunities to include messages about these events to give your customers more opportunities to see your messages without bombarding them.
Right Message, Wrong Channel
You may have the perfect message for Facebook, but it may fall flat on Twitter, Instagram or in your newsletter. Each of these channels have a typical audience who expect the content to be presented in a certain way. Simply copying and pasting the same exact message into each of these channels will not be as effective as crafting the message to fit each channel. Think about who needs to see this message and where the message should be sent. Adapt the content so it aligns with the channel and its audience’s expectations.
It’s Too Hard
Often a click to read more will present an additional step to sign up for a newsletter or join a rewards program. You’ve hooked your reader and want to keep them engaged but make it easy and worth their limited time. Some online sign-up forms will ask for lots of information that can be unnecessary and waste time for your customer or potential customer. Asking for too much information may cause some readers to bail and not return. Do you plan on mailing something to your customers? No, then a home address is unnecessary. If you are or plan to target expanding your business in a specific neighborhood, a mailing address makes more sense. It can be useful to collect information about your customers, but be sure it’s information you will actually use.
Some messages are serious and need to include a lot of details, and it’s important to get those messages right. Most messages your business will send don’t need to be very formal and can be written in a friendly, conversational tone. Don’t be shy about showing some personality in your messages. More authentic messages resonate and are more easily remembered.
It can be challenging to connect with your customers in these circumstances. Digital communications can get lost easily, but with a little thoughtfulness and upfront planning, still provide great paths to your customers.
About the Author
Beth Perell is principal of Beth Perell, LLC, a communications consulting practice that specializes in digital communications, public relations and web design. In her free time, Beth loves hiking, traveling and keeping up with her teenage sons.
Learn more at http://www.bethperell.com