So many different digital communication channels

How many of these methods of communication do you use with your friends and family every day?

Last week a friend complained to me that I hadn’t got back to her after she left me a message. I couldn’t recall the message, as those who know me know that I particularly value consideration and courtesy and getting back to people in a timely manner is important to me.


So I asked, did you send me the message via Skype, or LinkedIn? On Facebook or in Twitter? On my voicemail or in a text message. Was it an email, and if so, which email address did you send it to?


And they couldn’t remember either.

As you know, I’m an advocate of digital communication channels, but we need to be careful to communicate in a consistent way with our audience. We also need to choose channels where our message is most likely to be received  Huge volumes of emails are deleted without being read and only 16% of our branded Social Media messages reach our community. Mobile SMS has the highest read rate, but people can ignore a text message just as easily as an email, its just more likely that they read it first.


sequencing digital marketing and communications

Digital communications should be sequenced to get the best result

So we must sequence our messaging to get a better outcome. If we make an offer to our customers or a request of our donors, we want to make sure they received the message. So you might try a follow up later, by email or via SMS. The secret is to make sure that each new message adds value and can stand alone, so its not just another message asking the user if they read the last message. That’s more like nagging.


We also need to be careful not to over communicate with our audience. Because perhaps they saw the message and chose not to ask. You can ask them again if they’d like to participate but there’s a difference between persistence and annoying them.


Digital marketing and communication channels give us so much choice, as businesses and as consumers – but it can also be overwhelming, for both sides. As I showed in my example above, there are almost too many communication methods to stay on top of.


I find that people assume that you use the channels that they use (myself included). I might only check my personal facebook pages every couple of days, but some of my friends live and breathe facebook 5 times a day, so they expect I do too. We need to talk to our friends and customers in the way that they like to be communicated with – this requires analysis of our customer data (or just paying attention to our friend’s behaviour) and consideration when planning a new campaign, question or message.


When you’re planning your next digital marketing campaign, or just sending your friend a message, consider whether or not they are likely to receive it today, tomorrow or possibly not see it at all?