You can now block individual senders from your Gmail account with two simple clicks. Last week Google announced the most recent in a long history of updates to its core products designed to benefit user experience. Keyword stuffed articles with no value no longer rank well in search, and now graymail will have a harder time getting through to people, while SPAM is more likely than ever to get blocked.
As marketers, we have angels and devils over our shoulders, telling us to do different things. It’s my belief that the angel is the right one to listen to — bonus if she has a degree in data science (am I right?). Doing the right thing means sending people messages they actually want. This benefits users, marketers and Google. Win-win-win.
But no one ever said it was easy, hence the devil shoulder. Sending people messages they want means actually taking the time to get to know your customers. That takes time, thought, data, and technology. From there you’ll need to craft messages that map to channels and times people want those messages.
The biggest hurdle in getting there is not technology, it’s mindset. The perceived benefit of batch and blast marketing is just that, perceived. The new world order for marketers is out with expediency, in with the long game; out with one size fits all, in with relevance and personalization; out with content that puts your brand first and in with content that puts the customer first.
Here are a few ways to deliver relevant content, especially in light of the recent Gmail block sender feature, but also just because:
Get permission. Simple as that.
Get to know your customers, then personalize as much as you can. You’ll never get it exactly right — even communication in-person, 1:1, with your friends can be a challenge (am I right?) — but the more you try and the better you can execute, the better the content will be in the eyes of the beholder.
Pick another channel. Email is awesome — seriously, I really actually think that — but you’ve got to diversify your channels. Not everyone loves email as much as me for one thing, but all kidding aside, diversifying gives you more ways to reach people, and they’ll feel less smothered. Multiple channels are your friend, each with its own place in your marketing mix. Get to know them too.
Write good content. Now clearly this is very subjective, but don’t send crap–you probably know it when you see it. Better, not more. It’s a great way to think about your relationships with customers and a great way to think about content.
None of this is anything super new, but how many of us are fully embracing this mindset, delivering content that we’re confident is the best and most relevant it can be? It takes time to get there, but I think users and Google alike are willing to give us an A for effort on this one. At least for a while.