Setting Expectations in Your Communications Strategy

client-expectationsWith all of my marketing I am always looking for the best way to manage frequency of communications and finding a way to manage expectations.  This can be a tough call.  Permission-based marketing is set upon the premise of obtaining the agreement to continue messaging your prospective audience, but one often missed piece of that puzzle is letting them know how you plan to communicate with them.  We get so caught up sometimes in the selling process and the excitement of someone giving us permission that we forget to also learn their preferences.  I believe the key in those initial interactions is to take the time to ask that important question and to outline how you will communicate with them in the future.  So how do you manage this with all the touchpoints?  Here are a few methods that I have used that might help:

  1. Incorporate preferences into signup forms:  Whether you are using a printed or web-based form, you can often include a few simple questions to ask about preferences in frequency or channel.
  2. Offer a link in all digital channels to an online preference center:  A simple landing page form with fields that populate your CRM or customer database can be used to customers/prospects to self select those items.
  3. Simply ask:  In any organization, you likely have staff interacting with those contacts on a daily basis.  While they may be good at asking for the opt-in, be sure they take the time to also understand preferences in that conversation and to let the contact know how you plan to communicate with them.

Simple tips really.  Not difficult to follow.  However, even I can tell you that it’s like anything in life, it’s easy to get into a routine and forget to take those steps.  As I see marketing plans come to fruition in the implementation, even I have to remind myself to not only follow the steps, but to also adjust along the way.

There are so many channels and methods in which we can communicate today, don’t fatigue your audience by not setting expectations early.