EMail Highway: Which way do you drive?

So can we learn anything new about e-mail? Perhaps as far as small businesses are concerned. The survey responses to “The Killer App is Dead” would lead us to believe that the onramp to the e-mail superhighway says ONE WAY ONLY—SEND!

The stark contrast between blindly sending and receiving unsolicited e-mail: 60% vs. 0.03%, prompts some serious rethinking of e-mail’s role in today’s sales outreach efforts for small business.

Perhaps we should pay attention to the 40% who appear to use other routes and back roads to market their company’s wares and arrive on their customers door step. These road trips may involve more planning, work, cost, commitment, and accountability, but the results of these travels may yield a lasting impression that cannot simply be deleted!

In fact, when considering alternatives to e-mail, one tool and one strategy rose above the mix. Face-to-face sales calls accounted for 50% of the alternative strategies to e-mail marketing, while telephone calls to clients/prospects received a 70% response rate as the preferred e-mail alternative outreach tool.

Could it be that personal, human contact is the real “killer app” of the 21st century? Has Relationship Capital* taken center stage? While we are mere observers of trends, we encourage you to read “Is Face-to-Face Selling Dead?” where we first noticed the value a true sales professional brings to the table and how important it is for us to properly support this person’s efforts.

Aside from the encouraging reaffirmation that human contact is still the best form of marketing communication, maybe what small businesses need to market effectively today is not an “all-in-one” e-mail hammer, but a well stocked arsenal of Marketing Strategies that can be chosen depending upon current market conditions and the needs of the sales force. It’s like a coach’s playbook—Google AdWords, tradeshows, direct mail, sales support materials (e.g., white papers, case studies), and PR.

[This is what the Marketing-Playbook is all about. It's  the definitive guide to B2B marketing for small business]

* For an introduction to Relationship Capital, pls see http://www.washingtonspeakers.com/prod_images/pdfs/ReichRobert.RelationalCapital.1002.pdf

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