Brands need to leverage intrigue with little incentives (if necessary) as they try to engage with consumers.
"Save on your taxes: Avoid these 7 IRA blunders."
I first saw this on a direct mail piece to my home. It was from my financial institution but I really did not pay much attention to it. Then, I saw it again - this time in an email. I skimmed through the list of blunders and soon forgot about it. Three days before tax day, my e-statement from my financial institution inspired me to go read the entire blog article.
The article had lots of detail, was very well organized, and even offered an interactive calculator that allowed me to assess the difference in money. I asked a question online, and it was quickly answered. They requested my permission to post both my question and the answer on their blog - I agreed.
Inspired, I actually visited their local branch, spoke to a counselor, and made a few adjustments to my returns.
Do Tomatoes Really Grow Upside Down?
I kept seeing offers for upside down tomatoes in the paper catalog that was mailed to my home. It looked too hard and yes, very gimmicky, so I never really paid attention to it.
Like me, there were many who were skeptical about this new style of growing tomatoes. What the brand did next was brilliant. They stayed in touch with all who purchased the upside down plant, sought pictures, and got these consumers to engage on social media.
A year later, I got an email with the subject line, "Do tomatoes really grow upside down?" Intrigued, I clicked through to see real pictures and real commentary on this brand's social media page.
I ended up purchasing a couple of plants and will vouch for a few things - they keep ground pests away, they take less space, no weeds, and yes, they do grow upside down.
Do Birds That Eat Bees Ever Get Stung?
A friend of mine owns a backyard birding company and he was looking for ways to engage with those who purchased his product. Rather than just slip in a copy of his catalog with the merchandise being shipped, he decided to include little "quiz cards" with the following:
Do birds that eat bees ever get stung?
What weighs more, bird feathers or bird bones?
What bird does not walk?
What bird makes a figure eight while flapping its wings?
Why do cardinals kiss?
This intrigue actually draws in consumers, and my friend has experienced so many benefits first-hand. He lists all the answers on his blog where consumers can also like his brand on Facebook. His in-house experts answer questions - this keeps the site rich with dialog and pictures, real user-generated content.
The online interaction on social media also reduces the amount of phone calls his reps have to take about cleaning or installing a bird feeder, as the answers to these frequently asked questions are always a handy click away.
Brands need to leverage intrigue with little incentives (if necessary) as they try to engage with consumers. Just getting the consumer to "like" or "follow" your brand might get you a few names quickly, but it does little to sustain the momentum.
Think also about segmenting your most frequently interacting customers into a special category who you can go back to for feedback. I wrote an article on leveraging the survey with a simple tagline, "Do you know why cardinals kiss?" If you want to know, simply read the article.
Image on home page via Shutterstock.
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Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.
He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.
Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.
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