Email Marketing: Continuing the Conversation

[tweetmeme source=”getintheinbox” only_single=false]I have just read Scott’s fantastic blog “Email Marketing: A Conversation Starter“. It was so good and in line with some conversations a few of us had been having recently, I was inspired to reply. But before long I’d written a whole blog post so I moved it over here…

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Scott, Awfully well put sir!

We’re always banging on about CTA and conversion but far, far too often a senders’ CTA is buy buy buy!

The majority of the time, excluding ecommerce emails, a sender does not have a good enough rapport with enough recipients to get that level of conversion.
In fact the number of recipients who are alienated or even offended by the audacity out ways the number of conversions.

It’s the old direct mail mentality where people think email marketing is the same as posting flyers, but it’s sooo not!

But hey they made money, who cares? The people who won’t buy at all from future emails, that’s who!

By empathising with recipients’ levels of rapport with the brand, you can make the CTA achievable for everyone and get more out of your recipients. Upgrading them from prospect to customer then fan.

If they are new, distant or barely engaged try starting the conversation about something rapport building rather than asking for big commitment of purchase at this stage. Then build up to the purchase.
Get personal with it, show interest in individuals. Last clicks, opens, social interactions etc.

If they are consistently engaging with you, reward them, engage back and preset them with opportunities to tell their friends and bring you more business.

Target people by engagement levels in previous emails and even website and social interaction.

In reality it’s conversation and interest in each other that builds a rapport and subsequently a relationship.

The same rules apply to digital marketing.

So start the conversation with something that a recipient can reply to, be it a click through,Facebook like or comment, purchase, blog comment, tweet or abandoned cart.

And don’t just leave it there. A recipient responds to your conversation starter, you reply again and it goes on and they spend money with you over and over and you keep treating them well over and over and everyone one’s a winner

Make the call to action achievable based on their rapport with you

Is Facebook Messaging spam-bot heaven

[tweetmeme source=”getintheinbox” only_single=false]I’ve just found a nicely put together article called “Facebook Messaging: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” By Joseph C Lawrence 03.08.11 for Memeburn.

It very nicely puts together lots of what I have already written out Facebook Messaging as it rolls out.
Joseph also talks a bit more about the SMS aspect of it and the ease of use of the social inbox as it hosts your communications per conversation and not per medium – which was the idea and appears to be working well.

I’m still waiting for more from Facebook Messaging. Some kind of better interface would be nice. Right now it’s a tucked away section of Facebook and the interface once you’ve got there is rudimentary. They won’t be taking any social messaging traffic away from Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail this way.

Joseph also touches nicely on the ease of spam and the fact that anyone can see the personal url of anyone, so can then know your email address; this invites spammers and in my opinion could be the big failure of this and could even be what kills Facebook if they’re not careful. It’ll be bot heaven, time will have to tell though.

I’d suggest that Facebook does not give people the personal url if they are not friends with that person or that person has allowed public access. That way bots and other human spammers won’t be able to hammer Facebook with spam.
Just paste facebook.com/ into your browser and then add any kind of name or nickname you can think of afterwards and hit go, have a few tries, you’ll see what I mean.

We’ve lived the clunky Facebook years and they did a good job re-writing PHP run time with HipHop for PHP but it’s still not light speed and the last thing I want is to have to re-asses Friendster, Tagworld & MySpace because my preferred social network performs like an Amstrad CPC 464 (which in it’s day was gravy but I much preferred the Amstrad CPC 6128, the machine I wrote my first computer game on).

While I’m sure Facebook can afford the hardware to handle it, how efficiently will they handle it and why on earth would the put them selves in that position in the first place remains a mystery to me and only servers to fuel my concerns.

I really hope it all works, I like the idea and it should increase my life’s convenience levels but I’m currently not confident of the execution at the moment.

Facebook vs Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and everyone else

Just found this old draft, I thought I’d best publish it, I’t probably out of date now though?

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Rumour has it that Facebook will be introducing Email, Search and Docs in today’s Web 2.0 conference.

Rumours state that Facebook will likely make it the email completely open, allowing POP and IMAP access so people can use their own email clients, like Outlook and Thunderbird.

Additionally, rumours state that it will also integrate with Microsoft’s online office suite called Office Web Apps allowing Office web app users to share their docs with their friends on Facebook.

Also we are expecting a Facebook search engine that will consider the searcher’s friends’ preferences as well as the user’s and search terms when providing results.

These new features will put Facebook in direct competition with Google’s GmailGoogle Docs and in part Google Search.

The search will be very hard to complete with and I would expect Facebook’s search to be different enough to be more of a focussed search for social purposes than to find something. For instance: if someone wants to find something out they will ‘Googleit’, but if they want to find something that everyone else is talking about so they can keep up, it’ may be more successful in Facebook than Google.

The two have never really been head to head up to this point. While both making money from ads on pages and using clever profiling to get the right ads in front of each visitor, Facebook does it inside Facebook.com and Google does it everywhere else.

Now Facebook could cover everywhere, from inside Facebook. This could make it much like all other sites like Yahooand AOL and MSN except Facebook already has a much stickier user base. People go to all of the other sites either to check their email or search the web. People go to Facebook to stay in touch with their friends and family and spend more time doing that than searching. Additionally with Facebook allowing brands to create their own pages so easily and include news and tweets etc. they could steel a lot of content traffic from everyone. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone reacts once we have all of the facts.