Will Facebook Email make Email Marketing Shexzy again

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According to just about all of the major media sources Facebook intends to launch it’s own fully featured email client as part of the Web 2.0 Summit on Monday 15th of November.

Facebook calls it ‘Project Titan’ and Tech Crunch & the Guardian are calling it the ‘Gmail Killer’.

The email account name will most likely be your own vanity url. So if you haven’t got one already you’d best hurry up in case someone gets the name you want! Some rumours have already confirmed that fb.com has already been purchased by Facebook, presumably for this purpose.

This biggest effect on Email Marketing is the rumour that it will be 100% permission – you will only be able to send email to people who have already given you permission. Things like being friends or fans on Facebook will decide senders’ permission to email a Facebook address.

Challenge for Marketers

Many people have stated that this new level of permission will be the biggest challenge to email marketers ever. With the emergence and popularity of web-apps like Otherinbox which sit in front of multiple inboxes to protect the users of non-permission emails, Facebook’s uber permission stand should not be a surprise.

Recipients are voting with their clicks and they only want email that they have asked for. With Facebook already being a central hub where people have a lot of control over who can see and interact with them, it is likely that many Facebook users will welcome this.

I don’t see this as a challenge, people should know early on that people who are fans on Facebook are people that have gone out of their way to engage with you and are real fans.

Users will have the control over permission, so there will be a larger consequence to getting it wrong and marketers will have to keep the content good to keep the fans in.

The email community who already struggle enough to segregate well should welcome this kind of automatic targeting and now Facebook might do a big chunk of it for you!

Shexzy Email

All of the press is all about Facebook, Twitter Google, Apple and Microsoft. With Facebook getting into the email domain, there will be more focus on Email Marketing in the main stream media and those who hold the purse strings will once again be interested in email marketing.

Thus making it shexzy again.

I’m personally very intrigued as to how it will all actually turn out.
Also: the Facebook Search Engine which will apparently use friends’ preferences as well as the user’s to provide results & FBmail will also apparently integrate with Microsoft’s Office Online.

Moving out from Facebook.com to the rest of the internet would put Facebook head to head with Google. This could be a very big leap for Facebook, hopefully not too big in one go but if all of the rumours are even close to right, digital marketing could change a great deal and Email Marketing will be right in the shexzy middle of it.

If you target well you get to make your emails Shexzy

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This month I had the usual chats with people about getting better engagement from their emails. The place I tend to start is the creative, mainly because it is the easiest thing for someone, not as advanced with email as I, to interact and empathise with. Subsequently they are “more inclined to fix an email than ‘faff’ about building a targeted list” as one of them told me recently.

So normally it begins with the pre-header and building for Outlook’s imageless preview pane: keeping the images smaller in the top third, getting more text in etc. etc. the stuff we all say everyday.

However, in the hope of motivating people to want to segment better, there is the opinion that for certain, special emails, that would go to already very engaged subscribers, the image blocking would not be a problem.
This would be because the recipients know that brand already so you only have to worry about the subject line to make them prioritise it. Many recipients will already have safe listed the sender and the others probably just load the images without thinking anymore.

At that point, you have the freedom to be creative, as long as you satisfy various filters’ image to text ratios.

The kinds of email I am talking about are normally things like:

  • Invites to special events with a very targeted audience.
  • People who go to the same thing every year.
  • People who always interact with the emails.
  • Special offers on products that people have on their wish lists.
  • There are also niche lists for scarce things like Pure360’s Scally Rally list for instance.

When there is scarcity and people will be more engaged, you have more freedom to be creative…
…as long as you make the experience good and avoid the junk filters.

In some ways, that can even be a goal for marketers…

Luke ‘Stat-Walker’ Glasner (Jedi of Metrics), tells us to look at the money because that is what the bosses see.
If you can prove profit each time and then make it better, you’re all talking the same language, showing good results and everyone’s a winner.

Too often we only look at the open rates and click throughs, with only one list all getting the same email.
If you target correctly and aim to get more engagement, then send the engaged a prettier email next time, in the knowledge that they will see it all, your life is easier and you should get better conversions.
I’m sure there was a shorter way of saying that?

Then tie that in with Luke’s approach: you are onto a winner and your emails are shexzy!