Every message a company sends is an attempt to get the recipient to either feel something, know something, do something or say something. At its core, messaging is all about increasing engagement.
Our first book, Intercom on Product Management, focused on how product managers can improve their product with a better understanding of who is using it and how, and how effective messaging can influence product usage.
This second book, Intercom on Customer Engagement, is all about creating those effective messages.
As research for this book I re-read a lot of the classic literature on marketing, advertising, communication, and crafting messages. One particular anecdote from David Ogilvy’s seminal On Advertising stood out to me:
One day a man walked into a London agency and asked to see the boss. He had bought a country house and was about to open it as a hotel. Could the agency help him get customers? He had $500 to spend. Not surprisingly, the head of the agency turned him over to the office boy, who happened to be the author of this book. I invested his money in penny postcards and mailed them to the well-heeled people living in the neighbourhood. Six weeks later the hotel opened to a full house. I had tasted blood.
Tried and tested techniques for that office boy would be to sponsor local events, run tiny adverts in high-end publications, buy a billboard, hire people to aimlessly hand out fliers on a shopping street, maybe run a radio advertisement. But you don’t get a name like “The Father of Advertising” by simply doing what is tried and tested.
Why did Ogilvy’s postcards work? They were personal, they were personalized, they were well targeted, they were timely. Put simply he was sending the right message in the right tone to the right person at the right time through the right medium.
That’s what this book is all about, it’s a core part of what Intercom enables, and it’s something every business needs to focus on.
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