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Active vs Passive Digital Messaging

April 20, 2020

With so much of our industry's sales and marketing efforts taking place online, or in digital format, it's a good time to explore how to make those messages more effective and more likely to be acted upon.


Active versus Passive Messaging


The key is understanding what the intent of your message is. An active message requests or expects the recipient to take some action. A passive message simply provides a piece of information that the recipient might access at some, or immediate action is expected or implied. 


Why It's Important To Know The Difference


I spoke with an executive in the home care industry last week. He relayed that he is now receiving up to 200 emails per day from anyone and everyone he's ever done business with. You might be experiencing the same thing. With so much information coming at you, it's virtually impossible to discern the important info from the rest, so even important messaging can wind up in the trash bin without ever having been seen. Your job now (and really, forever) is to make sure your messaging is seen and can be used. If you understand the intent of your message you can more effectively get it to the person who needs to see it, and have them make use of it. 


Active Messaging - Active messages...those that expect the recipient to take some action....need to be short and sharp. People won't waste time reading thru paragraphs of text to figure out what your message is. These need to get right to the point. Also, you want to make taking the intended action easy. Put the hyperlink right where it's easy to see, make the photo clickable to your website, put a "mailto:" link so they can open a new email addressed to you instantly. In short, make it easy and quick to do business with you. If not, they'll move on to the next 199 emails or messages. Active messaging takes place via text, email, phone call, or messaging app. It's a one stop experience where the recipient doesn't have to go somewhere else, and then start over again. An active message asks for a response, some information, or some action to take place. Get to the point, and you have a better chance of getting what you asked for.


Passive Messaging - Are messages that don't ask for a reply right now. They generally having more infor