post card

I don’t know about you, but I know my life revolves around technology: my laptops, my iPhone, my iPad, my GPS…  I could sit here for an hour and type about how much I rely on technology, but you get the point.  Most people use technology as a means of communication, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, text messaging, FaceTime, you name it. We all rely on technology for communication because it’s so convenient.  As a marketer, communication is very important, so I always try to stay on top of the advancing trends, learning how to grab prospects’ attention, and overall how to make the best impression and delight both prospects and clients.

In efforts to keep on trend, my boss and I attended Inbound 2013, a marketing conference that is held in Boston every year, to learn new marketing methods, hear from the best marketing and sales professionals and figure out how to ramp up our marketing efforts and take our company to the next level.  While there I met a handful of great new contacts and when I wasn’t networking, my head was buried in my iPad jotting down notes and ideas.

The next week, when I returned to the office as usual, I was plugging away on my two laptops, with my iPhone and iPad within reach, when the office manager knocked on my door and said that I have mail.  I originally thought it was going to be a notecard from some random unrelated vendor or junk letter, stating, “Hello Megan, I am reaching out to a select group of sales and marketing leaders…,” but then I gasped… I looked down and saw actual hand writing. Someone sent a postcard to my work address?

I looked down, slightly confused, and read the short hand-written paragraph to find that it was sent from a gentleman whom I met at the marketing conference the week prior!  My first thought was “How brilliant!”  We were at a conference where everyone was attached to their gadgets, discussing new technology trends, and even the conference itself had its own App.  Yet, here was a hand-written post card rather than an email, a LinkedIn message, a tweet, a calendar invite, etc.

Instead of trying to take a technical leap forward using the latest and greatest technology, he reverted to the less-traveled path of meaningful mail.  Even though some people claim that “direct mail” AKA junk mail is dead, and I hope it is, putting a personal touch on communication is not.  The road less traveled isn’t always a bad choice. I am not just a member on a contact list, I am an actual person, a human, and if you want to really get my attention you’re going to have to do something effective to the extent of taking time out of your busy day and writing me a genuine hand-written postcard.  That postcard is now on my tackboard, as you can see from the picture to the right.  It is there not only to remind myself of what a great connection this person is, but to always remember when trying to communicate with someone that they are a person, not a list entry, and that sometimes it’s not a bad idea to take a step back, away from all of the technical hype, and think differently about how to make my messages stand out from the rest.

A few great takeaways from Inbound 2013 are to always tailor and personalize your messaging, to think innovatively, and to delight your audience so that you are remarkable.  I am a person who is immersed in technology all day, every day, so in some respect email is not the best way to get my attention as I get so many emails everyday on multiple accounts.  As a result of generic spam emails, I’ve learned to scan my emails and weed out the ones I don’t recognize and click my little trashcan. Whereas my mystery contact, who’s business website you can find here, not only personalized his message but he thought innovatively about how to best capture my attention.  Thank you Randy and thank you Hubspot for encouraging remarkable behavior and delighting me!