Getting the Balance Between Effective Communication and Spam in 2021

Getting the Balance Between Effective Communication and Spam in 2021

Email remains one of the most effective marketing methods available … but you have to get it right.

If you’re not careful, you risk your messages being ignored or relegated to a spam folder. It’s a delicate balancing act keeping your company at the forefront of your client’s mind and sending them too many emails.

Commitment and persistence can pay off as the EveryCloud infographic we have for you below, suggests.

69% of consumers will delete messages because they receive too many of them or because they feel they’re not relevant.

Blasting out a generic email to everyone on your list, (“Spray and Pray“) … while simple enough with today’s technology, is unlikely to be effective if it’s not personalized for the recipient.

This also begs another question … how many communications are too many?

We think a shift in the definition of what a Spammer is, needs to occur.

A spam email is not just judged on the frequency it is sent, but also on its content. Yes, spam is receiving a ton of unsolicited offers of Keto diet secrets, Chinese herbal cures for diabetes and improved potency potential!

We’ve all been on the receiving end of these types of email and because they are not relevant to us, we view ourselves as being spammed. Even once is too often for these kinds of emails.

Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever before. They want to be treated as individuals and expect businesses to provide them with individualized solutions. This carries all the way through from an initial product or service offering to your follow-up marketing efforts as well.

We all need to start reevaluating the way we set up our email campaigns. We need to make sure that if we’re sending an email to a subscriber, they will feel it’s relevant for them.

The generic email is dead! It’s not enough to type out a quick message, put your client’s name at the top and hope for the best

Not sure how to begin personalizing your next email campaign?

Consider enlisting the services of a Digital Business Consultant who’ll help your message stay out of the spam folder and resonate with your target customers.

In a World of Exponential Technology, Your People Still Make the Difference.

In a World of Exponential Technology, Your People Still Make the Difference.

The aeroplane, nuclear power, cars, submarines, television, the personal computer and… the Internet – just a few of the 20th Century’s most important inventions.

Impressive feats of human creativity by any measure – so what about the remaining 80 years of the 21st Century? 

In his 2001 essay The Law of Accelerating Returns, inventor, futurist and Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil predicted: “100 years of progress in the 21st century…will be more like 20,000 years of progress.” 

At the beginning of the 21st century, Kurzweil observed more than 32 doublings of performance in computers since World War II. The nature of exponential growth, he continues, is such that technological trends are not noticed as small levels of technological power are doubled. Then in a watershed moment and seemingly out of nowhere, technology erupts into view. 

He found the acceleration in fields ranging from electronic to biological technologies. 

There wasn’t just simple exponential growth either, but “double” exponential growth – meaning that the rate of exponential growth is itself growing exponentially!

Automation is part of the suite of technological change and it’s a hot topic in marketing and business. It threatens to make large sections of the workforce redundant while for business owners it promises an opportunity to get time back to grow business rather than working in it.

The outlay on automation is also growing. As Digital Marketers we’re used to keeping abreast of the next shiny object to capture leads, measure its success and the latest platform algorithm update. To this end, an estimated $25 Billion will be spent on marketing automation by 2023. Furthermore, if given extra budget, 32% of marketers would spend it preferentially on the information derived from artificial intelligence (AI) in these platforms. 

Modern-day predictive analytics leverages insights obtained from the diverse confluence of statistics, AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data mining. Combined, these tools are delivering exponential change much like electricity did 100 years ago.

Machine learning algorithms are already anticipating our needs. The end-user experience is guilty of treading boundaries between intent and intrusion, although it’s intended to remove friction and make customers’ lives easier. We now see ads about the things we just said or talked about, (be careful what you say in front of your phone or smart speaker!)

Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law 

Moore’s Law refers to its founder’s observation that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. We see this when the speed and capability of computers increase every couple of years and we pay less, (except for Apple products), for the improved performance.

Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. 

The internet is a perfect example. Smart device users have been able to connect to a growing network with rapidly improving bandwidth and falling prices. For more than half of the world’s population, the value has risen to a point where it’s an expected part of their home and business environment.

For good, (Kiva) and bad, (@realDonaldTrump,) the result is an unbridled network of processing power and the creation of a truly global village.

The Law’s in Action

  • Put into perspective, the CPU and RAM for the guidance system for the Apollo moon landing, (2MHz and 4GB RAM) had roughly the same power as 2 Nintendo systems today, (1.8MHz and 2GB RAM.) 
  • FLOPS, (Floating Operations Per Second), a useful comparison of computer performance, has undergone a 1 Trillion-fold increase in processing power in the 60 years until 2015.
  • Supercomputing continues to hit new milestones. The next milestone will be exascale computing, capable of a million trillion calculations a second!
  • 26 billion devices are connected to the internet. This number will grow to 75 billion, (10 per person), in 2025 as the Internet of Things, (IoT), too, is poised for exponential growth. IoT is an affordable way to put a microprocessor in everyone’s pocket and inside everything. 

In his book, Future Smart, author James Canton believes IoT will be “the bridge between the digital world of electronics and the physical world. The convergence of emerging technologies – automation, AI, machine learning, Big Data, wireless systems, nanotech and quantum chips, will…blast through the limitations of Moore’s Law…[and]…give us massively powerful supercomputers that live on the tip of a pin but have the power and intelligence to run a city or a planet.”

What to do with all this power?

As we achieve this leap in processing power, we should also brace for 800 million or ⅕  of the entire world’s jobs to be lost to automation by 2030. The challenge will be to find them gainful employment

As a Digital Marketer, I unashamedly exploit modern cutting-edge technology. SMEs have no choice but to negotiate a digital presence that now changes daily, or they will be rendered invisible. Enterprises must stay digitally agile – be willing to Adapt. Integrate. Grow, even though Digital Marketing is becoming more complex. 

Consumers have increasingly high expectations of the brands they do business with. A great Digital Marketer will ensure that all touchpoints meet these lofty customer expectations. 

They’ll employ an integration strategy involving SEO, retargeting, lead generation, social media, and content marketing, leveraging exponential technological change and the exploding growth in human interconnectivity. 

People are still the greatest asset

This is not about the newest trends in technology, though. A shameless technophile, it may appear counterintuitive for me to suggest advocating a people-first approach in business. Despite all the trappings of tech, one thing we should never lose is our humanity. Group culture is one of the most powerful forces on the planet…It’s the x-factor inside of successful businesses and elite sports teams.

One Harvard study over 11 years and 200 companies showed a strong culture increases net income by 756%. How we collaborate, view new ideas, join and build communities and establish relationships within a workplace is a key driver of success.

In his 2017 book The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle encourages looking for connection behaviours in your organisation. These include “proximity, eye contact, energy, mimicry, turn-taking, attention and lack of hierarchies where everyone talks to everyone else. All these ask the question: Are we safe? What’s our future with these people?”

 The importance of team cohesion was illustrated in the 2006 study, The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery, by authors R. S. Huckman & G. P. Pisano. It followed 38,577 procedures performed by 203 cardiac surgeons at 43 different hospitals. They found when a surgeon worked with specific surgical team members at a particular hospital, patient mortality decreased for that procedure by 1%… but stayed the same at other hospitals where they performed the same procedure. The surgeons had seemingly reached the limit of their surgical abilities – the only thing that contributed to better patient outcomes was the smooth machinations of a team dynamic.

Watching people stare into smart devices endlessly makes it seem we’re losing our abilities to make the personal connections necessary for effective team building. On the contrary, technological upheaval makes it easier to share and use information, organise business, make decisions, and maintain relationships with each other. In The Social Organism, Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey commented that it’s “changed the way ideas are generated, iterated and reconceived and how culture takes shape. It reshapes what it means to be human.”

Now What? 

Television, (Netflix), newspapers, (Facebook), taxis, (Uber) and hotels, (Airbnb), have already experienced major disruption. The glaring impact of climate change will accelerate electric vehicle adoption. Banks will feel immense pressure from micro-financing startups. Large scale healthcare organisations will need to rethink their business models as medicine shifts from curative to preventative models. 

In their book Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster and cheaper than yours, Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone and Yuri van Geest tell us to prepare for this kind of disruption in all industries to continue – anything predictable is, or will be, automated by AI or robots. We’re moving to a world where everything can be measured, (IoT) and anything can be knowable, (information and algorithms.) Fortunately, they continue, this will relieve humans of the mundane and free us to be creative and innovative in our jobs.

There is no denying technology is changing us. Let’s hope this new creative and innovative workplace though can be an example of the accountability, purpose, sustainability and connectedness that make us human. The effects of exponential change on the way we live will be here very soon

A Story of Lost Digital Opportunity

A Story of Lost Digital Opportunity

In 2013, things were pretty good for Tom. As a business owner, his company had a strong word of mouth reputation for both quality and speed of service. Every day, he lived his core value of providing exceptional customer service. He believed his reputation was key to the growth of his business and would provide him with his dream of leaving a legacy for his 2 sons.

Tom was never much of a believer in technology though. His company’s only digital asset was a website. Sadly, it was never a priority for Tom. It was never updated and didn’t display correctly on mobile devices. Because of this, any visitors Tom did get, received a poor first impression and left straight away.

Fast forward to 2019 and Tom’s dream remains just that. The business only provides him with an income. There has been no growth.

Tom’s competition, however, embraced digital transformation. As a result, his competitors engage customers with a seamless experience across all browsers and all devices.

They often appear on page 1 of Google because they provide the information people are searching for. Because of this, his competition are seen as experts and people finding them in search results are more likely to become customers. Their “digital word of mouth” reviews are only a mouse click away and available 24/7!

With Live Chat, appointment scheduling and safe payment integration, digital customers are also delighted by the speed of the experience and become advocates for the company. Integration allows these companies to put some tasks on autopilot, allowing them time to focus on business growth and attracting new customers.

Tom now realises he was wrong to ignore digital transformation and integration. He knows the best time to adapt, integrate and grow was 6 years ago…the second best time, is now!

If your existing efforts, like Tom, have stalled, begin your digital transformation today with the services we can offer you.

10 Easy Ways To Use Psychological Persuasion In Your Digital Marketing Today.

10 Easy Ways To Use Psychological Persuasion In Your Digital Marketing Today.

In an age of digital distraction, is there a greater cliche than, “You only get one chance to make a first impression?” Digital Marketing today is so much more than just a pretty website.

Consumers are more demanding and impatient than ever before. They expect digitisation to deliver them an almost instantaneous ability to connect people and devices, anywhere and anytime.

They receive almost 400 marketing messages a day and spend 3 hours on social media.  Their feeds are peppered with advertising messages urging them to “Learn More,” “Sign Up” and “Download Now.”

If your website doesn’t identify their problem, provide simple navigation to a solution and allow them to filter their search, then don’t expect them to return…ever!

Infinite consumer options mean you have about 8 seconds to capture their dwindling attention span.

In that short space of time, they form impressions about your branding, your proposition, social proof, guarantees, and testimonials.

There’s an 82% chance they’ve Googled your reviews before coming to your physical location. They’ve researched their need and are well advanced in the purchase decision.

Getting the most and paying the least for it, is a top priority for them.

With so much information available to digital consumers, SMART companies leverage psychological persuasion as part of the engagement and conversion strategy.

Neuromarketing describes the mix of traditional and modern methods used to exploit the irrational decisions we all make when purchasing. It leverages colour perception, the human desire to fit in, snag a bargain and avoid loss.

Consider implementing the following tactics to get the most from your digital marketing spend, today.

1. “Reciprocity”

Think about the last time someone did something kind for you. You thought immediately about returning the favour – that’s reciprocity.

In his book, “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion,” Robert Cialdini describes reciprocity as a deep-seeded human trait.

It began when Caveman A fashioned the tools that allowed Caveman B to hunt Dilongs. Cavewoman C maintained the fire that allowed them to cook the meat. Cavewoman D knew which berries made a palatable, non-poisonous accompaniment.

The first experts and co-operative societies were created!

How to Implement Reciprocity

Reciprocity is known to be a powerful sales motivator. Last time you received a free sample of food, it was accompanied by directions as to where you could purchase the full product.

The free sample gesture was an attempt to begin the reciprocity cycle where you return the favour with a purchase.

Free and trial versions of software are made available hoping to achieve a sale in the future.

Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful referral engines. Delivering exceptional service triggers referrals naturally, but don’t be shy about asking existing your customers for new leads.

You can incentivise the referral with a future discount or cash back for the referer. This increases the lifetime value of the existing customer and continues the reciprocity cycle.

Remember, it can be five to twenty-five times more expensive to acquire new customers instead of retaining those you already have.

2. “Visual Importance”

There’s a reason many alerts and calls to action appear in red – think Facebook and Messenger notifications.

Red, in particular, amasses feelings of excitement.

Visual importance triggers our perceptions that some items stand out when compared to others. Orange and yellow take action buttons are also used to grab attention.

Orange instills feelings of confidence and cheerfulness, while yellow is associated with clarity and warmth.

Blue is the most popular colour online – think Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and LinkedIn. Tech companies like Dell, HP, and Vimeo use it as well.

When it comes to technology, uptake is determined by its ease of use. Blue evokes feelings of trust, strength, and dependability – just what you want from your new tech purchase.  

Blue makes us feel calm – important when we’re adopting new hardware and software. Blue is everywhere in our environment, so it feels familiar as well.

How to Implement Visual Importance

Depending on your product or service, the calls to action on your website can utilise the urgency perception associated with colours such as red, orange and yellow.

If you hoping to instill trust in prospective clients and make them feel calm about their purchase, consider using blue in your branding.

3. “Use Power Words”

The words you choose can make or break your marketing message. No need to swallow a thesaurus though, when developing your direct response copy.

Simple conversational tone works best in blog articles. Avoid jargon and technical terms.

Modern marketers like Donald Miller advocate clarity above all else. The text on your website should immediately address the problem and the solution.

David Bailey also suggests selling the problem, before the solution.  Pay particular attention to his section on writing a compelling need narrative.

The father of advertising, David Ogilvy, stated, “What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”

Certain motivating words have been used in marketing for decades now – the simple reason is they work!

Some like “Exclusive Offer” and “Limited Availability” appeal to our FOMO. Cialdini called this kind of persuasion, The Scarcity Principle. People place greater value on objects when they are framed around exclusivity and scarcity.

“Free Trial Period,” “Guaranteed” and “No Obligation” help allay consumer fears of being ripped off.

How to Implement Power Words

Your business needs to develop and articulate its unique selling proposition. A Digital Business Consultant can help with this and the power words to use in your marketing copy.


  • Consider running limited time offers.
  • Use countdown timers to add urgency to discounts or special offers.
  • Offer a free, no-obligation trial period and present the offering as a gift to invoke reciprocity.

4. “Avoid Choice Overload”

I never look at any of the 182 different types of breakfast cereal at the local market. While there may be ones that taste better or are better for me, I simply can’t be bothered burning the calories trying to figure this out. That would definitely take longer than 8 seconds!

Such is the apathy that occurs when we offer our clients too many choices. When it comes to offering choices, the sweet spot seems to be 3 to 6.

Those yellow discounted price tags in the Yellow price tagssame  

aisle are an exception. They immediately appeal

to my visual importance with their percentage-off



Avoiding choice overload is beneficial to the business as well. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, your Digital Business Consultant will help you develop your ideal buyer personas. These are the fictional representations of the group of customers you should aggressively target.

Rationalising products or services will narrow your focus and avoid wasted marketing efforts on people who will never purchase from you. You also become an expert when you own the niche!

How to Avoid Choice Overload

In the discovery phase of the buyer’s journey, avoid complicated pricing and feature offerings.

Use pricing tables to present features in an interesting manner. Position a particular offering that will serve your customers needs the best and maximise the return to your business.

Concentrate marketing efforts around portraying yourself as an expert. This informative kind of marketing is received better than a hard sell. Ogilvy also said, “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”

5. “Stay Relevant”

Bad web design can be a business killer.

Get help to ensure your business presents a contemporary presence. Deliver design consistency across your website and social media profiles. People hate confusion and mixed messaging. Failing to deliver on brand consistency will make you look disorganised and unreliable.

Consumers are also increasingly moving to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google for voice searches on their mobile devices. A Digital Business Consultant can devise or revise your SEO strategy in line with the explosion of voice search.

How to Stay Relevant

Keep your website design fresh and on trend with new content in a blog format. Google loves new material.

Develop a long-lasting relationship with your Digital Business Consultant. Take them up on digital maintenance plans. They’ll be more willing to do minor FOC modifications and offer future discounts to clients with whom they have a long-term relationship.

Conduct regular audits of your social reach strategies. Be prepared to ditch poorly performing platforms and be open to emerging ones and new integrations. Just don’t put all your efforts into the one digital channel. Your competitors may swoop into that space and steal the search rankings you’ve worked hard to achieve.

Your consultant will also help you target the keywords people use during voice search for the services you offer.

6. “Use Social Proof”

Acting in a way in which the majority of others behave, is a protective mechanism. It establishes social norms and helps us fit-in.

80% of people believe testimonials they read on a website. Social proof in the form of testimonials protects us from loss.

If you deliver consistent, exceptional service, a constant supply of positive reviews will be your greatest asset. Keep updating these reviews to reflect innovation or diversification in your business – that’s an expert thing as well.  

Monitor and respond to positive and negative reviews on your Google+ page. Keep the reciprocity cycle turning with a message of thanks for positive reviews. A throwback to an earlier time would be to send a handwritten message in the mail. This is much more personal than a DM!

How to Use Social Proof

You don’t have to dedicate 10 web pages to testimonials. Choice overload suggests 2 to 6 testimonials will suffice.

We’re all attracted to shiny objects. If you’re a member of a professional society, eg CPA or Master Builder, make sure to display these affiliations on your site.

Maybe you’ve won “Best in Class” industry awards – show them off.

“Money Back Guarantee” banners also work well. money back guarantee badge

Scroll below the fold on this website to see an example.



7. “Personalise Your Marketing”

Personalisation is about delivering relevant and timely marketing messaging to your customers. It can aid their understanding, make it easier for them to do something or provide value.

The cloud computing power of Customer Relationship Management software like Salesforce and Pipedrive, make omnichannel customer engagement a breeze. Automation features deliver appropriate messaging based on where the customer sits in your sales funnel.

Customers expect an engagement strategy with real-time responses right from the outset. LiveChat integrations such as and Tidio cater to this demand.

Apple first launched Beacon Technology in 2013.

A customer downloads the retailer’s mobile app and opts in. The business then knows a customer’s location at any given time. Push notifications are sent to that customer promoting products when they are within a certain range or instore.

Digital loyalty cards, personalized offers, and speedy checkouts are just a few of the other offerings available with this technology. Financial barriers to entry are tumbling so this is a viable option for smaller business now as well.

ECommerce personalises visitors experience by displaying suggestions based on purchase history.

Youtube and Netflix use your history to make suggestions.

How to Implement Personalisation

As part of a total digital solution, your Digital Business Consultant can data mine important insights about your customers’ behaviour. Your existing CRM, pixel tracking, and analytics plugins are just some of the tools they’ll use.

Consider investing in an email campaign and drip feed ongoing, relevant knowledge to those who opt-in. You maintain brand awareness when they hear from you regularly as well.


8. “Use Video”

Consumption of video content is exploding. The stats speak for themselves.

How to Use Video:
  • Write a script
  • Create a Youtube channel
  • Grab your phone
  • A 30-second introduction video to your business is better than no video at all!
  • Google owns Youtube and gives it preference in search engine rankings
  • Make video an ongoing part of your digital strategy


9. “Use The Reject-Then-Retreat Method”

A sales rep recently gave me a quote of $17,000 for a Tesla Powerwall. While I admire Elon Musk for his innovation and entrepreneurship, I don’t admire him that much!

He immediately retreated to a less featured, $8500 solution when I told him $17,000 was not an option.

The same principle is employed by a new car salesman. When viewed in the context of a $30,000 new car purchase, additions like $2000 leather interior, $1200 paint protection and $800 driver assist technology, seem small in comparison to the actual vehicle cost.

Interestingly, salespeople never start by trying to sell you these features. Once you’re emotionally invested in the purchase, then the upsell comes!

In a lesson for all business and services, both examples led with the most expensive option first.

When a customer sees the willingness to come down in price from a high starting level it’s viewed more favourably than the other way around. Think traditional upsells – I always resist them!

How to Use The Reject-Then-Retreat Method

Used wisely, this can be a very effective conversion technique. Just make sure the initial offering is reasonable.

In “Secrets of Power Negotiating For Salespeople” – Roger Dawson called the starting point the Maximum Plausible Position. It’s the most that you would conceivably ask for.  The buyer must see this as a reasonable starting point.

If you run an E-commerce store, customers should be shown cheaper items to compliment or accessorise their purchase as they’re about to check out.

10. “Tell A Story”

Stories have been part of human evolution. We started telling stories before we learned how to write.

Scientists have studied the brains of people invested in a story. Oxytocin, the same hormone that helps mother and newborn form a bond, is released. It makes us more caring!

When you’re engrossed in a (good) movie, oxytocin is again at work helping you form a connection with the characters. It’s also the reason going to the movies is good for your relationship. You’re building a connection with your partner based on the similar experience of the plight of the characters.

How to Implement StoryTelling

Any reputable Digital Business Consultancy will factor in a discovery phase of your operations.

You don’t have the budgets of multi-billion dollar companies like Nike and Coca-Cola, so they’ll help craft a narrative that tells your business’s unique story.

This is the kicker though – the business motivation, what your brand stands for and the market need you address is about the customer, not you.

If you can craft a great story, oxytocin will be surging in your business prospects.


There is the question as to whether employing these tactics is ethical given their persuasive success?

The consumer today is well-educated. They are empowered like never before because of digitisation. New levels of opportunity, customer experience, and connectedness, are the result of digitisation and these will only continue to expand.

Businesses have to make digital strategy a priority or they will not survive.

Bias is part of our DNA. Civilisations and technology have flourished despite our flawed predilections. When all parties receive a benefit, I believe the end, can justify the means.

We’re all reaping the benefits of digitisation. It was the Cavepeople who did all the really hard work.


4 Reasons Why Digitisation Will Grow Your Business

4 Reasons Why Digitisation Will Grow Your Business

It’s difficult to build a business with a single marketing tactic. A recent report suggests up to 20% of ROI is lost when adopting a single channel approach. An integrated Omnichannel approach makes it more likely a potential customer will encounter your message across multiple platforms and times.

The approach begins with your website.

#1: Your website is the “always-on” embodiment of your business. Integrated correctly, it collects leads and can help turn customers into brand advocates. Given 80% of people research a company or service online before purchase, can you afford not to add a digital face to your business?

#2: The financial barriers to digital entry continue to tumble! While we suggest you engage a Digital Business Consultant, an online presence with a relatively small initial outlay, is possible for any size business. Having a website is now a necessity, rather than a luxury. You can deliver your unique message to a much wider, digital audience. And besides…your competitors are executing on their digital strategy as you read this!

#3: Developing your unique value helps to position your company or service in the expert category. If you’re a handy writer, there’s an opportunity to share your expertise. It’s cheap and easy to get help in this area though if you’re not an accomplished writer.

#4:  Integrate a Social Media strategy and now your reach is exploding! You can update your customers on new products or upgrades. Concentrate on delivering an exceptional consumer experience time after time. People will share their positive brand experiences with their followers and expand your digital reach.

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