We live in an information-heavy, highly competitive, world of business. Everyone is trying to get business wherever they can and we are increasingly seeing savvy businesses who are openly sharing their knowledge/tips with people who choose to receive information from them (for example, email newsletters, tweets etc.). By creating useful ‘content’ that people look at some of the time, what’s created is an ongoing awareness of the person/business who supplied that useful content.
However, I believe that we’re already at the point where people are inundated with things they could read and useful tips they could follow and while such methods carry a lot of value, it’s going to take a lot more to stand out from the competition.
I believe that in 2012 and beyond we may start seeing a much more ‘personal’ approach to interactions and one such method could be through electronic cards.
I’ve long been aware of electronic greeting cards but they have never featured heavily in my ‘things to focus on’ and it was only when receiving one at Christmas 2011 (thank you Sian Murphy) it stood out as being one of only a few ‘truly personal’ things received during the year. OK, I expect other people got the card but the point is that it went beyond pure business and so struck a chord. It made me suddenly more aware of the person who had sent it.
For many people in business, this may seem like a lot of hard work. To those who don’t see it as a waste of time, there could be some value in reading on …
When you go to the website http://www.jacquielawson.com you find a large range of electronic card types that can be sent. Birthday, Christmas, Get Well, Thank You … the list goes on and on.
The website makes it very clear (see http://www.jacquielawson.com/commercial.htm) that commercial use of the website is not permitted and sets the ground rules. However, it also says that people within business can use the website to send e-cards on certain conditions (which all seem fair to me).
Many businesses (including Custwin) have clients where there is a more personal relationship – perhaps not ‘go down the pub for a beer’ in many cases, but more than purely a financial transaction. For those types of relationships, a website such as this could be great for strengthening the relationship. Here are some thoughts about how people in business could use such a website in a way that is truly personal …
- Birthdays – on each client birthday select and send an e-card that most closely matches the personality of the client.
- Christmas – select e-cards that match certain types of client personality, ideally personalising the message on each one.
- Summer holiday time – send contacts an e-card that reflects your upcoming time on holiday, so that they know you are going to be away.
- Big occasions – if you know that a contact has a big event in their life (e.g. wedding, birth of a baby, or even something that warrants a ‘With Sympathy’ card), then there will be e-cards to match.
- Thank you – with life being so busy it’s all too rare that we take the time to thank people we’re in contact with. A thank-you e-card could help.
When used in the spirit of how the Jacquie Lawson website is intended (i.e. not used for cold hard commercial gain), the use of e-cards can add a more personal element to the interactions you have with people that you know. When you add that to the more ‘business’ way that you interact with people (e.g. email newsletters) and it’s totally genuine and personalised, then I’d suggest that this can be only a positive thing to do.
And the best bit of all? In the UK it costs just £7.25 per year to send unlimited (obviously, within reason) e-cards. If such a small financial cost plus your time to invest in sending personalised e-cards is palatable then you may want to consider ‘Getting Personal’ in 2012 and beyond.