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When It Comes To Content Be A Human, Not A Machine

 In Content Marketing, Design, E-mail Marketing

Have you noticed that some marketing e-mails feel like they come from a human being, while others feel like they are being sent by a machine? Sometimes the difference is because of the size of the company. It is difficult for large businesses to have a personal component to their e-mails, and they are often pure sales copy, discounts, products, etc.

But I have begun finding that even some small business communications are beginning to feel… impersonal. Even though they contain some good content for the reader, it still doesn’t build a connection to another person.

Maybe it’s because the picture or headshot hasn’t changed in months, or because it shows up at the exact same day and time every week, or because the format is always the same, and the links on the right column are the same every time.

I am all for automating your systems and communications. It allows you to leverage your time and make your business more efficient. But too much formulaic automation takes away the human touch.

Since making connections and building relationships is the primary purpose of your content, don’t let it become overly mechanical. Mix it up! Here are four ways to keep your e-mails personal.

Scheduling – Are you sending your e-mails at the exact same time on the exact same day every week? Consistency is a good thing, but no one is that perfect, and after a while it makes it seem overly planned. Break up the pattern by sending it on a different day one week. Or, if you miss a week (it’s okay!), pick it back up the following week with an explanation of what happened. Or even send a spontaneous e-mail to your list on a different day just for fun. If it comes into their Inbox at a different time, it seems more like it’s coming from a human (which it is!)

Design – Your e-mails don’t always have to look exactly the same. Change up some of the design elements, or send a plain text e-mail occasionally. Rather than having the same 5 sections every week, try having 3 sections and rotate what they are (but not in a predictable rotation!).

Pictures – If your headshot is the only picture of you on your e-mails, and it hasn’t changed in months (or years!), the personal touch that it adds loses its impact. People love connecting visually. We share pictures with each other on social media constantly. Try using a candid shot of yourself at a recent event or with a client, and you’ll be amazed at how it can build connections.

Formulas – Do you have a formula you use for your subject lines, e-mail content pieces, blog articles, etc.? Even if it is supposed to be a good formula, after a few times, it loses its effectiveness. It’s like my youngest son, who thinks that if something he said made me laugh, that he should say it over an over again. But it’s never as funny the second time, and after 6 or 7 times it just gets annoying. The best formula is variety.

I am passionate about using content to build relationships, so I can’t stand it when I see communications that have lost their personal connection. Don’t let all of the wonderful tools and machines around you make you lose your humanity. Use them to enhance your ability to connect to other people.

What do you think? How can you be more personal in your e-mail marketing? Let me know in the comments.

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