People used to spend ages talking and thinking about decluttering their homes. They clung to the calm words of Marie Kondo and bought vacuum storage bags for their winter clothes.
Now, society is turning its attention to digital clutter. More elusive, more proliferous digital clutter is what makes online living so overwhelming. And the impact it’s having is no mirage. Digital clutter, like overflowing email inboxes and endless product recommendations, can result in real anxiety, as real as the closet overstuffed with old shoes.
Customers don’t want to cut and run; they want to linger in digital places that feel like homes. Marketing teams that are able to craft such places — and remove digital clutter from their customers’ pathways — will be more likely to retain those customers and tell a clear brand story.
But how can marketers begin to remove clutter when they’re also facing the ever-present pressure to create more content and appear more often across the many digital channels and platforms their audience frequents?
How to bypass clutter and connect with customers
Digital clutter doesn’t have to be a necessary evil. Brands can find new (or even old) ways of connecting more deeply to customers and help them engage over the long term.
Here are three strategies that you may recognize already:
1. Harness the power of direct mail.
In today’s digital age, where online advertisements and email campaigns saturate the virtual landscape, direct mail emerges as a powerful tool that cuts through the clutter and effectively reaches target audiences. The statistics speak volumes about its potency.
Lob’s 2023 State of Direct Mail report found that 74% of marketers acknowledge that direct mail delivers superior ROI compared to any other channel. This impact is further amplified by innovative approaches such as the Hallmark greeting card, tailored to meet individual client needs.
The Hallmark greeting card holds a unique charm that resonates with consumers’ timeless desire for personal connection. The act of sending and receiving sentiment-laden cards holds its appeal even in today’s digital world, as evidenced by the billions of cards purchased annually. In the midst of overwhelming digital noise, such tangible experiences hold special significance.
Direct mail also excels in building brand trust. The tangible nature of printed information boosts its credibility over digital sources. In a world where digital marketing reigns, direct mail stands as a testament to creativity and personalization. The individualization and care offered by direct mail allow for inventive engagement, ultimately captivating audiences and increasing brand reputation and trust.
2. Choose a video for a smoother delivery.
One of the biggest sources of clutter online is content. Content marketing is great at filling the digital seconds with tidbits, stories, and insights, but sometimes that clutter can feel overwhelming — almost like the reader has checked too many books out of the library and is running up fines.
Video can be a single source of multiple pieces of information, putting ideas together into a manageable, engaging viewing experience. Video is also a great way to reassure customers of your authenticity. Video is a visual medium and can capture behind-the-scenes content as well as more polished promotional pieces, giving the viewer a tangible sense of your personality and credibility.
Video is also contagious. It helps retain customers because it makes them want to join in, create their own user-generated content, or share with a friend.
3. Use influencers for a human touch.
Clutter usually refers to objects: the paper in your desk drawer, the trinkets on your shelf. Even online, clutter tends to take the form of “digital objects” — electronic documents, pieces of content, and files to be stored. The great thing about influencers is that they’re human. They don’t need to be stored, read, or filed. Customers can watch and interact with them, almost as they would interact with others in their everyday lives.
Influencers can help you attract new customers because they introduce your brand to different audiences and shed new light on it with a different voice and perspective. But, perhaps more importantly, working with influencers can help existing customers stay around and engage more deeply. They provide a human guide to the content that might otherwise feel overwhelming and cluttered.
Digital clutter often seems unavoidable. It’s just part of the deal, right? You wade through it to get your work done; you parry those ads and messages away to connect with your friends. But that’s not necessarily true. Can you imagine a digital space that feels calm and engaging rather than chaotic? It’s time to start helping customers out rather than offering them more of the same.