When marketing professionals talk about engaging, they are talking about getting visitors to your website, or readers of your email newsletters, or even readers of your off-line marketing to take some action with you and your company. Throwing up a “Hey, buy this now!” message is not engaging.

When it comes to your contacts list, the single most important rule a business owner should keep in mind when sending out a message is that it needs to engage readers with useful and valuable content. Thinking about how you can be helpful and supportive of your readers’ needs, wants, and desires is the first step toward engagement success.

When we are asked to review a marketing program, all-to-often we find that this rule is broken, again, and again. This is especially true when we look at the use of email as a marketing tool. Most email marketing is a “promotion-blast” that never rises to the level of being helpful. If all you ever do with email is promote yourself, you will never engage an audience. Most email marketing fails because recipients quickly learn that promotion is not in their interest, it is not helping them overcome their needs, wants and desires. It is pushing the product or service of the business, only. And who cares? Usually, that number is pretty close to ZERO! We don’t care about your stuff, we care about our stuff. Make your marketing about their needs.

Make a promise right now. “I will always seek to be helpful to my clients first.” By saying these simple words before you send your next email blast, you can give yourself a chance to open the door to improved marketing results.