Having Conversations

How do you know what your audience wants unless you are listening? Listening to your customers today¬† is much different than it was even 5 years ago. Between the analytics options to see what your targets are up to or engaging them in person there’s a myriad of possibilities.
One way to know what your customer wants is to ask. Revolutionary I know. Below are a few ideas on how you can listen to your customer and engage them, 21st century style.

Leverage Social Media

Identify an interesting or controversial quote from your corporate blog, your LinkedIn group, or your Facebook page and include it as an item in your email newsletter. Present it in context and invite your email readers to click-through and join the discussion.

Collect Opinions on Industry Issues

The key to being a good conversationalist is to ask questions, listen to the answers, and build a connection based on what you learn. Poll your readers on topics of interest and use the findings in future content.

Multiple choice questions are the easiest to tabulate, but I also like to get some open-ended comments from respondents, which can be used as the jumping-off point for an article. Often you can even just string together the open-ended responses to create a narrative around the results. It still takes some thought and editing, but it’s typically easier than writing a new article from scratch.

Quiz Your Readers

Similar to a poll, but a quiz tends to have a right and a wrong answer. The idea here isn’t to shame readers who are wrong, it’s to award those who are right. Bragging rights are a good start; even better is awarding one person who got it right a prize of some kind.

The prizes don’t need to be high-value. Some of the best giveaways are closely tied to the newsletter content. Perhaps a recently published business book (even better – signed by the author).

(via Clickz)