I have discussed in my previous article, 4 rules to ensure successful website design, that our brain’s are incredibly powerful at spotting patterns. We also instinctively apply associations with patterns that we see repeatedly. I then alluded to this is how brands are created (or destroyed).
A recent article by Giuliano Iacobelli on medium is a fine example of this in practice in marketing, as opposed to brand creation, with some level of data to validate the point. In it he describes that customers have associated professional looking emails, the ones full of graphics and looking like quasi websites, with marketing material. As such we are immediately have a set mentality when reading the content which automatically biases our response; in this case negatively:
People get blasted by emails all day long, newsletter or Mailchimp-like templates are everywhere and, as a consequence, users started developing some patterns of recognition when in front of their emails: if pattern matches they quickly skim the content and trash the email. Maybe a catchy headline can help gaining a couple of seconds of attention but a good designed newsletter (9 out of 10 times a commercial proposal or a deal-like thing).
Using these tools easily put your communications in a matching condition for that patterns, even when product like Intercom.io sends email on your behalf (and users actually receive a mail by “you”) it just doesn’t look like a simple poor styled email you would have created inside your Gmail. The content can be as much personal as you want but it is very likely that users will not pay enough attention to realize that.
I’ll be pragmatic with this one, using Intercom and triggering 4,500 automatic email with a personal message for a specific segment of user and triggered on specific conditions: 1% replied.
Same logic, but only 110 raw text email with the same kind of personal message sent from my personal Gmail account: in less than 24 hours later I got 26 replies and established conversation ready to take off. 23% of replies. That’s quite a good improvement, isn’t it?
Before starting with all the A/B testing stuff with content and segments think about rule number one: You’re talking to humans and those humans like to talk to other humans.
You can read the original article here but in summary, it is sometimes easier to differentiate your marketing than you think, and thus increase conversion. If there is a pattern, a sameness, to the approach of traditional marketing channel then simply do something different. Just ensure that the content/proposition is easily digestible and that there is a clear call to action!