Email can be a great way to communicate, enabling people to manage many communications in a short period of time and providing the time, if used correctly, to ensure that the wording of each message is what the writer wants to convey.  Too often, though, contractors rely too much on email to communicate with government clients and prospects.  As any experienced contractors knows, federal prospects that don’t want to engage will hide behind email all day long.  Also, we’ve recently seen legitimate cases where emails either went to spam folders or just didn’t arrive at all.  Perfectly crafted messages don’t count for much if they’re never delivered.  There at least three other ways in which contractors can communicate effectively with prospects and current customers.

1.  Use the phone.  Remember when phones were actually used for placing calls?  Calling federal contacts may not only be able to get you through when emails fail, but the sound of your voice, and theirs, can convey information that an email may not.  A call may be able to tell you right away whether you have an opportunity or just caught someone at the right time who would rather not speak with you.

2. Text messages.  Always look for a prospect or contacts mobile number on their signature block or even on-line.  If a call doesn’t work, perhaps a text will.  We’ve experienced success with this approach with industry contacts, especially younger ones who may be more used to texting than email.

3. “Snail” mail.  According to some marketing experts regular US mail is making a comeback.  Personalized, non-bulk mail can convey your message and help open the door for a meeting.  You can use snail mail in tandem with email, too.  Follow up with your contact after they’ve seen your letter and ask for a virtual, or even better, in-person meeting

LinkedIn, social media, and in-person introductions at federal events are also good ways to connect with prospects and maintain existing relationships.  While some of these may take more effort than an email, they may also yield better results and that is the overall idea.