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Supplier Communication 101: Everyman and His Dog Food Supplier (Targeting your audience)

I dare not think about how many emails I’ve received in my career to date. Or even how many emails will flood my inbox whilst I try to figure it out.  And from my experience working with suppliers - I’m not alone. The problem is most of the emails I receive seem like they’ve been sent to everyman and his dog food supplier.

Now, before you get your hopes up, this blog is not going to solve problems of your inbox's ever expanding waist line. But I will  share with you how you can use this to your advantage when sending supplier communications and save hours of your time every week.

The relevance of relevance

In last week’s Supplier Communication 101 blog (‘IMPORTANT: The subject line that called wolf’) I introduced the concept that your reputation is one of the key things that  influences whether someone opens your email.  Therefore, if you want to get your emails opened and tasks completed by suppliers you should consciously manage your reputation.

Another major influence of your reputation is the relevance of the content you send.

I know what you did this morning

Take a moment to cast your mind back to this morning. You’ve grabbed a coffee and summoned up the courage to open your inbox. *Gulp*

The first thing you do is glance down the list of emails to size up the task at hand. If you’re anything like me, more than half of the emails have already fallen victim to mental parking – ‘That can wait until later’. The main reason for this either consciously or sub-consciously, you decide that they are not relevant. These are typically from people who have sent the email to everyone on a distribution list, relevant or not. The result – recipients quickly associate the sender with irrelevant content and start skipping over their emails. Don’t let this be you.

The false economy of distribution list inflation

Let me just clarify, I do understand why people do this. They’re busy and this approach is easy. However, what they don’t realise is that this false economy only adds to your workload a week down the line when your email has failed to hit the mark and your suppliers have yet to act.

Segments aren’t just for Terry’s Chocolate Oranges

By using a tool which allows you to accurately segment your email audience by criteria like job role/responsibility, product category and business unit, you can quickly and easily maximise the relevance of your emails and dramatically reduce the amount of suppliers you need to chase.

Do you want to share upcoming training dates for FIR Labelling? Target your packaging contacts at food suppliers. Are you trying to collect data about GHG emissions in your supply chain? Target your sustainability contacts.

This may be a large departure from your current reality of spreadsheets and Outlook contact lists. But making the leap to audience segmentation really will save you hours every week.  Just think, how would you spend that time?

Supplier Communication 101 continues next week with The ‘C’ Word(s). Find out if I’ve decided to turn the air blue in the name of successful supplier engagement.


Tags: Supplier engagement

David Taylor

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