1950’s Rules to Drive Customer Engagement Now

by | Nov 14, 2011 | Blog, Blog Archive, Multi-Channel Marketing | 0 comments

Legendary radio personality Paul Harvey formulated three rules of audience engagement back in the 1950’s – and those decades-old  rules can help marketers jump-start social media and email marketing efforts today.

His 1-2-3 approach to audience engagement is particularly applicable to social media and email marketing, even though he formulated them decades before either one was even dreamed about.

The Paul Harvey approach goes like this:

  1. Grab their attention with an intriguing “teaser” that gets them to want to hear more.
  2. Give them the rest of the story (succinctly, clearly, and directly).
  3. Wrap up and close (by repeating the main point, or with a question).

A marketer posting on LinkedIn recently explained why he wanted to leave his current job.  “I’m tired of being in a little box labeled ‘email marketing’.  I don’t want my responsibilities separated from social media, SEM, advertising, print collateral, and all the other marketing communications channels we use,” he wrote.

Yes, it’s sad but true:  too many marketers still think of social media marketing and email marketing as unique tools that aren’t part of the traditional marketing mix.  What a mistake!

Paul Harvey’s approach to audience engagement is perfect for multi-channel marketing.  Look at his steps again:

  1. Grab their attention.  How?  With the outside message on a direct mail piece, the subject line in an email, headline on a blog post, a Tweet that links back to content, a banner ad that induces people to click to learn more.  Including multiple channels in each message allows your customers to exercise their most cherished right:  the right to choose how they receive your messages.
  2. Give them the rest of the story.  In multi-channel marketing, this is where you direct them to your social media channels or content library to read the rest of the story.
  3. Wrap up.  Soliciting feedback and further engagement is the “home run” of multi-channel marketing.  Ask for the comment, get the sign-up form completed, and make them an offer they don’t want to refuse.

The point is that by using one channel to encourage prospects and customers to visit another channel, you are reinforcing the many ways that they can engage with you.  Email is a great way to drive engagement through social media and content marketing.

Including information that prospects can use takes the email out of the promotional category and move it into the interesting and worth my time category.  Research shows that social media links are among the most clicked in both B2B and B2C campaigns.

Don’t forget the Paul Harvey system on your website, either.  Most Internet shopping sites are not bashful about making recommendations on additional items to add to your shopping cart.  Cross-selling is effective.  How do you do it when you’re not selling products or services directly from your website?

By suggesting additional content that your prospect can download or next steps they can take to continue learning about your products or services.  For instance, once someone has viewed your product video or demo, suggest (via a pop-up or landing page) that they provide direct feedback through a survey link, send you an email,
engage in a live chat, or sign up for a newsletter.

The key is to provide information and content that your audience finds valuable.  Once you do that, they’re more likely to trust that future interactions with your company or brand will also be valuable, and that starts the multi-channel engagement

Think of multi-channel marketing as one integrated process instead of separate silos of messages and measurement.  This allows your customers the opportunity to  become truly engaged across all your channels, and not just one or two.

Or, as Paul Harvey might have said, “And now you know the rest of the story.”