Great brands differentiate themselves in many ways. But the way that will win the most hearts, minds and wallets is never forgetting that you are only in business to serve your customers.
Mailing Lists Direct, a mailing list company located in Ft Meyers, Florida is pleased to announce the release of two new long awaited geography options for their online count and order system at their website. Users of the system can now make selections based on Mapping and Drive Time Radius.
In June 2005, I started writing this e-newsletter.
My wife, Peggy, who is the publisher, came up with the idea of having takeaway points―a short collection of bulleted one- and two-liners or short paragraphs at the end of each piece―that summarize why a particular column might be worth reading.
I assume readers are very busy. I have no interest in wasting anybody’s time.
For example, many blogs start off with the writer clearing throat, rolling up sleeves, rubbing hands together, by which time the reader is on Page 2 with nothing to show for the time spent. That is why my private definition of the typical blog is “a cross between a blob and a bog.”
Put another way: It is imperative to remember that on the Internet a writer is one click away from oblivion. If I don’t ruthlessly self-edit, the reader is gone in a twentieth of a second.
Readers of Business Common Sense can scan the lede, and if they have no interest in today’s subject, can be out of here in less than 20 seconds, maybe with a useful takeaway or two, maybe not.
Every now and then a reader would write me and ask if I ever were planning to publish a collection of the takeaways. I said thanks for the suggestion (I personally answer all e-mail correspondence), and put the idea on the back burner.
In 2010, I moved the idea to the front burner and what turned up is:
Quotations, Rules, Aphorisms, Pithy Tips, Quips,
Sage Advice, Secrets, Dictums and Truisms in
99 Categories of Marketing, Business and Life
If you like what follows, you’ll find more information and how to order at www.dennyhatch.com
I persuaded the publisher (my wife, Peggy) to offer readers a fat pre-publication discount.
In the study "Crowdsourcing and Individual Creativity Over Time: The Detrimental Effects of Past Success," Barry L. Bayus delves into one of the main ways organizations are getting social with consumers.
Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in a report, memo, article, letter or book, you will look like a chump. If your careless work finds its way onto the Internet, it will follow you to the grave.
From catalog makers to magazine publishers and direct mailers, the battle is now joined over the proposed rate increases for U.S. mail. American Media, Condé Nast, ESPN, Hearst, the Magazine Publishers Association, Publishers Clearing House and Time Inc. are among the companies that have formed the Affordable Mail Alliance this week. The group is trying to appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission to reject the United States Postal Service’s request for substantial increases in the mailing rates both for standard postage and bulk and magazine rates.
I was suckered into opening Jay Malik’s e-mail. His subject line was “Back From the Dead.” I did not recognize the name Jay Malik, but that subject line indicated that he was someone coming back into my life after many years. I took the bait.
What I got was a dense, boring 400-word lecture on the history of the death tax with a salutation, “Hi!” and one benefit: “We save you more in taxes than you invest in our fees.”
I am illustrating the complete Jay Malik e-mail as a textbook example of why most businesspeople should hire professional writers when they feel they have something to say.
At the same time, here is a textbook example of the arrant idiocy of using the Internet as a marketing medium to strangers. Quite simply, it is so cheap to send outgoing messages that if you get two orders per million, it is considered a success. Meanwhile the sender has wasted the time of—and pissed off—the 9,999,998 other recipients and cost $20,000 in lost productivity.
Why is it that Americans can’t, don’t and won’t read?
Our brains are rewired.
Our time and productivity are being hijacked by amateurs.
I no more than finished weaving some nostalgic "back to the future" references into my last SEL article (how social media content like UGC can accelerate your SEO into the future) and Google decides to unveil their new search results UI, featuring among other improvements new filters that give searchers a whole new dimension on which to search: Time.
As I get older—and my time on this planet gets shorter—I go berserk when people promise one thing in writing, deliver something else and waste my time.
At right "IN THE NEWS" is the lede of Howard Shapiro's review of "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller at the University of Delaware, roughly an hour's drive from my house in center city Philadelphia.
I wanted to know one thing quickly: was this production worth the trip?
Of the 403-word review, the first 88 words are devoted to the excruciatingly dull details of how Shapiro got stuck in stop-and-go 8 mph traffic that caused him to miss Act I.
Shapiro spends the next 94 words dumping all over Arthur Miller's first act—which he has not seen:
Ah, yes, the babbling, daydreaming Willy Loman, aging badly from a hard life of sales on the road, is in his Brooklyn house, frightening his wife with his erratic behavior. He's also yelling at his grown boys—particularly Biff, who had been Willy's great hope and now is his constant disappointment.
In all, 182 words—or 45 percent of this supposed review—are expended (1) highlighting Howard Shapiro's self-described inability to keep an appointment and (2) wasting my time.
Shapiro and his editor—if such an animal exists in the bankrupt Philadelphia Inquirer—should be fired for letting this irrelevant drivel see print.
My message to Howard Shapiro—and to everyone that writes for public consumption (as opposed to private diaries or journals):
- Consider the readers needs and wants before your own
- Ruthlessly self-edit, because most businesses do not have professional editors.