What’s the most important piece of information in any message? It’s not the subject line/headline. It’s not the call to action. It’s not the date or time the message was sent, even when it’s urgent.
The most important piece of information in any message–the thing that is most likely to determine whether it gets read and/or acted upon–is the name of the sender.
It’s true for email, phone calls, even which status updates we choose to pay attention to in the flood of information on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The audience’s sense of urgency about a given message is directly proportional to their level of trust in the sender. Sure, a great offer or a compelling message can make a difference, but there’s nothing’s more consistently effective than making sure the message comes from a person who’s known and ideally respected by the recipient.
This applies to brands as well as people. No matter how good you are, you won’t get much traction unless you have name recognition. And no matter how great your story is, no one will want to hear it if they don’t trust that it’s genuine. Brands are actually at a disadvantage since we tend to trust marketing messages less than messages that we perceive to come from unbiased individuals. With brands, trust matters even more.
The upshot of all this? Building relationships is the best way to get your message out, and the right person’s name on a message will go a long way toward ensuring it gets heard. Focus on that first, and you’ll be off to a great start.