Personal: Trust Trumps All

Our last post was about making sure your newsletter is relevant, and before that, the effect of ensuring it's anticipated. The final post in this short series is about how being personal trumps them both.

When a stranger interrupts, it's offensive, annoying.

When a close friend interrupts, it's probably just conversation. We do it all the time. Sure, in some settings we're careful to be more formal, to listen politely until the other person is done speaking, to use active listening and all those cool techniques for really connecting.

But if you and I are chatting about music and you start raving about Eric Clapton and I butt in with "Clapton has gotten boring; have you heard Steve Winwood play guitar lately?" that's just conversation — friends talk over each other and interrupt and generally treat conversation like a rugby scrum.

And we love it.

Friendship, trust, being personal, makes all the difference in the world.

When you get our newsletter, it's probably anticipated. You might forget, though; we're probably not all you have to think about.

Relevant? Hard to say. Unless you were looking for exactly what we wrote about, the newsletter wasn't precisely relevant to your immediate needs.

Personal? We hope that what's written here and in our newsletters feels like us talking to you one-on-one, or sharing a table with friends down at the pub or coffee shop. That's how it feels when we write it: just us folks chatting.

If your marketing is personal, intimate, caring, generous, it trumps "anticipated" and "relevant" every time. A friend can call at 2 in the morning and ask for a ride home on a rainy night, and while we may not revel in the joy of it all, few of us would hang up on them with the same fervor with which we mute a TV commercial or toss junk mail in the bin. It's personal, and even if it wasn't anticipated, isn't relevant to our needs, we listen, possibly even act, because we care.

When your marketing makes people care, everyone wins.

What do you think?