Would you like Onions with That?

John, when is the best time for me to send my company’s weekly email?

That’s a great question.  And the answer is, when it’s ready.

I believe in great content.  And I’ve also been told that Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday night, and Sunday mornings in February are the best times for Facebook interaction.  And the best time to send out your company email is Thursday at 2:00 pm.  However, just because your timing is impeccable doesn’t mean you should cut corners on your content.  What exactly does that email say?  Is it carefully written, with an interesting subject line or are you sending out a bulk email just because it’s Thursday at 1:45 pm?

Before you hit send, think about how many emails you personally delete.  Maybe it’s the sender (Aldi has expired flour on sale!), maybe it’s the subject line (Bob, Senator Jones needs your $50) or maybe you just feel like making something disappear.  I’ve read that perhaps only 20% of all email is actually opened.  If you don’t want your email to end up on the virtual cutting room floor, think about a few things before you compose that note.

Does it have to be said?  If the answer is yes, make sure your email is clear and concise.  Get to the point on the opening line.

“Dear Bob.  We need your liver.”  You wouldn’t delete that one, would you?

“Now allow me to explain.  Veal Liver is delicious and a great source of high-quality protein.  And this week, Bistro Bistro is featuring our best customer-submitted liver recipes.  Submit your liver recipe and perhaps next week we’ll feature your liver.”

Does it include a call-to-action?  In other words: do this; buy that; call this number; eat at this restaurant.

“Dear Bob.  Your neighborhood bistro market has liver on sale!  So stop in (Stop In.  That’s the Call to Action) and pick up a couple of pounds today.  We’re here until 9:00 pm and while you’re waiting for our butchers to trim your liver, take a look at our award-winning produce department.  We’re featuring fava beans for only $3.99 a pound.  And fava beans make an excellent accompaniment to liver.”

Do you have a compelling subject line?  Because I’m going to decide whether I’ll delete or open based on your subject line.  If it’s the standard “Our latest news…” then you can bet I’m headed for the delete key.  So think about your subject line and write something compelling.  Get your recipients to take that next step.

“Our livers really quiver.”

And with that in mind, if you’re haphazard, you can produce emails that are akin to a  fried liver drenched in gravy.  It’s drenched because very little care was taken in the actual preparation.  Coat it in gravy and perhaps 20% of the public may order it.

liver-and-onions-with-spuds-and-gravy

Overcooked peas, instant mashed potatoes, and too much brown gravy. If this dish represented a paragraph in your company’s weekly email, would you want to read it?

 

 

Or you can take a moment to refine your company’s weekly emails, carefully read them three or four times looking for unnecessary words, frivolous sprigs of parsley, or too much breading.  Only use what is absolutely necessary to produce your statements, your emails, and your dinner.  And instead of drowning your liver in gravy, produce something your customers and clients should look forward to receiving, much like an appetizer at your favorite restaurant.

liver_onions_perse

Liver and Onions, courtesy Thomas Keller’s Per Se. If this dish represented a story, I would want every bite.

 

If you’re looking for clever, knowledgeable, and affordable help with your company’s social media, call me at (864) 616-7171.

John

“Is This Your Car?”

 

We’ve known for months that a new contractor was about to build in our neighborhood.  We were excited as well as a bit nervous.  New home construction comes with all sorts of variables and challenges for the existing neighbors.  There’s the headache of construction debris, the constant traffic, the noise, and the influx of the labor force. Yet we’re looking forward to a new set of neighbors.  Our quiet, unassuming neighborhood was about to go through a 180 degree about-face.  But we needed it.  We needed someone to come in and turn our neighborhood around, fix our pool, finish the clubhouse, and maintain the amenities.  So although the transition could be challenging, the end result would be worth it.  Or so we hope, because the jury’s still out.

The builder would also come into this relationship with challenges.  And as the tenant of the home across the street from their new model home, one would assume that the builder would want to start off on the right foot with the new neighbors.

So imagine my disappointment when the first words out of the mouth of the initial point person in this new relationship were: “Is this your car?”  Not good morning, not my name is…, not hello.

“Is this your car?”

“Yes.”

“Well we’re about to start building here, you need to move it.”

“And good morning to you, too.”

Sheesh!

Here’s the deal folks.  You only get one shot at a first impression.  One.  Who’s going to make that impression?  Not your CEO.  Not your CFO.  Not your Director of Human Resources.

I don’t care if you’re selling dreams, a new lifestyle, horsepower, bicycles, or an opportunity to retire in luxury.  You best make the right first impression or all of that goes right down the drain.

Now imagine if that first encounter with this builder came with a greeting:  “Good morning, I’m Robert Jones.  I’m head of construction for West Field Construction and tomorrow morning we’re going to start building across the street.  This is Julio, he’s our Construction Supervisor and here’s our contact information should you ever have any concerns.  And your name is?”

Your social media should be in sync with your company’s.  If you’re going to be on social media, no matter what you’re selling, make sure that your people are portraying the same image as their employer.  If you own a strip club, no one will be surprised to see photographs of pole dancers showing off their legacy.    For the rest of us, your people better have it buttoned up.   If you want to go out on the town with your co-workers on Friday night, go right ahead.

But DO NOT post anything on your social media about how you “Love hangin’ with the Wild Bunch at Company  XYZ!”

sams_hofbrau_girls_facebook_thumb_560x384

Gettin’ hammered before the slammer with our awesome HR Director!

 

Remember, your social media may be someone else’s first impression of your company.  And when a prospect interacts with your social media,  what will their first impression be?  Make sure it counts.  And if your team isn’t accurately representing their employer, perhaps it’s time for some counseling.

As for my builder,  there’s always the next project and another shot at making a better first impression.