Increase Propinquity with Video Email

Last Updated May 1st, 2014

I love the word propinquity. For starters, it’s fun to say (take a minute & try it). More importantly, it’s a powerful concept about how we connect with our fellow humans.

The first time I saw it was on page 45 of the book REAL by Dave Crumby, Lani Rosales, and Martin Streicher, with contributions from more than a dozen other thought leaders in the real estate industry.

Here in this post: what propinquity is, why it matters, and how you can increase it with the people in your life.


Increase Propinquity with Video Email


Frequency and Familiarity

As mentioned, I first read the word on page 45 of “REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose, and Profits in Real Estate” (bonus points for the Oxford comma in the title). A huge thanks to Dave for a great book/project and for introducing me to the word/concept.

“In social psychology, propinquity explains that a person tends to form relationships with those whom he or she is exposed to often. Or, in other words, frequency and familiarity tend to form a bond between one person and another.”

That’s from the same page he takes a stab at mass emails that are “canned missives.”


Psychological Proximity

Wikipedia (yes, I’m citing the Wikipedia article on Propinquity) describes propinquity off the top as “one of the main factors leading to interpersonal attraction. It refers to the physical or psychological proximity between people.”


Know, Like, Trust

I found Tom Martin of Converse Digital and the author of The Invisible Sale online by searching around propinquity.

Tom’s developed a propinquity-based marketing system that aims to result “in prospects moving through the Propinquity Continuum (aware of me > like me > do business with me) more rapidly.”


Video Email and Propinquity

Sometimes, I refer to it as “internet famous in your own sphere of influence.” Other times, I reference the “grocery store effect” enjoyed (or tolerated) by your local TV news anchor or weathercaster over the past several decades.

Because I produce many of our training videos, newsletters, and blog posts, it happens to me when I go to conferences and events. Many of our customers tell us that they experience it (example, example).

In all these cases, people – sometimes strangers – greet you like they know you. They feel connected to you before they meet you or more connected to you as you build the relationship. It’s like you’ve been referred – it’s a warmer start to the conversation and interaction.

When you send video email, you’re increasing propinquity. It allows you to be there in person when you can’t be there in person. You become more familiar. They experience you and develop psychological proximity through your face, voice, personality, expertise, enthusiasm, emotion, and more. It’s distinctly human and uniquely you.


The Result

Propinquity is fundamental to building relationships and to building “know, like, and trust.” If the growth of your business or organization depends on relationships and referrals (whose doesn’t!?), this is extremely valuable. That nearness people feel helps increase top of mind awareness, conversion, retention, and referrals.

It also adds value to your life overall.


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real estate, REAL, Dave Crumby, passion, profits, purpose

Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.