Your Prospects Have Digital Fatigue

Digital fatigue-it’s a thing. 

Our inboxes are full to bursting and our eyes glaze over with ubiquitous digital ads. 

Forrester Consulting released a study based on insights from 158 business-to-business (B2B) marketing leaders in North America on analog versus digital touchpoints, and although not technically, directly related to your business development efforts, it’s critical you pay attention to the key takeaways. 

Kicking things off from a Business Wire summation: 

. . . the majority (80 percent) of respondents recognize that the pandemic has increased their reliance on digital touchpoints. Resulting from the overdependence on digital, 76 percent agree that engagement with digital tactics is dropping, while 78 percent of respondents report that analog touchpoints such as direct mail have seen a performance boost. 

 80% recognize the pandemic increased digital reliance 

This applies to your agency business development effort as well, although it was happening well before the pandemic. 

Sending an email is easy, versus making a phone call, for example.  

You click send and there’s no personal interaction. Fear of rejection is minimized. 

But the pandemic, as this study makes clear, and we can most certainly all agree on, has increased our digital dependence from a business development standpoint and increased your prospects’ digital fatigue.

It was understandable as the pandemic really kicked in, or at least many agencies told themselves that. 

You can’t reach anyone by phone, everyone’s working from home.

 I heard that a lot, and it was 100% not true, not after those first few months. 

We actually set more meetings by phone during the pandemic. 

 76 percent agree that engagement with digital tactics is dropping 

We’re awash in sales emails, and they’ve gotten progressively more ineffectual, ineffective, and voluminous. 

As a company, we’ve been fortunate in that our process has always involved multiple touchpoints across multiple channels: phone, email, social and physical mail. 

Another quote worth reading from the Business Wire summation: 

 Since the onset of the pandemic, businesses have significantly over-rotated on their use of digital engagement strategies to reach audiences. Unfortunately—but not unexpectedly—the reliance on digital channels alone has led to increasing levels of fatigue. The new engagement challenge for B2B marketers revolves around establishing authentic, personal relationships with audiences to counter this fatigue and forge connections that drive business value.

 The word “authentic” in the prospecting/outreach context has become patently overused, but the point still stands.  

Your outreach has to be personalized (to an extent at the top of the funnel) and personal in it’s messaging-meaning it doesn’t read like a bot or an ad, but rather that another human being wrote it.

78 percent of respondents report that analog touchpoints such as direct mail have seen a performance boost. 

 Here’s an example of a mailing piece we created and sent out to our agency prospects recently. 

Your Prospects Have Digital Fatigue

 This one was a little silly and a little different, with the message on the front, “Thinking of You”, meant to be a throwback to a greeting card. 

And so far it’s working. Although we’re in the early stages, we’ve seen it just in the amount of meetings I’ve set with agency principals.  

4 key takeaways I’ll leave with you as you look to increase new business amongst all the digital fatigue: 

  1. You don’t know what’s going to resonate with a prospect, so you have to give yourself every opportunity, by using multiple methods/channels in order to stand out 
  2. The study gets into the use of SaaS platforms to track and accompany your direct mail campaigns. While that’s great, that probably isn’t in the budget, and it doesn’t have to be. Simple QR codes will work, for example. 
  3. Email is still valid, but it’s all about the messaging. Most sales emails are not written well and are not informed.   
  4. It’s not about any one channel/method. Our tech stack is also critical to our performance, for example.

I’ll often send a simple letter on RSW letterhead, that I personally sign.  

It’s about mixing up what you’re doing, and most importantly, following up.