All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An email newsletter from a digital media agency landed in my inbox today. It urged my business to get a Facebook page, extolled the many virtues and benefits of so doing, and then helpfully advised me that if needed, they could help me set it up. I presume a fee would be involved. My first reaction was to say that the sort of companies who need help setting up a Facebook page have no place in the digital media arena. Then I reread their list of great reasons to have one. At the end of this highly tenuous and often desperate list, I wondered whether any company should bother. A year ago the airwaves were full of digital marketers banging on about ROI and how Facebook would be a contributing factor, nay, a leading one in your digital campaign. Now they are talking about ROR - return of relationship, an as yet undefined and again highly tenuous concept which presumably means their is no ROI, but if we invent something called ROR then that will go someway to making up for the disappointment of not getting any ROI. Then of course there are the many reasons why a company Facebook page can actually severely damage your customer relationships. Facebook takes what could / should be a private conversation between company and customers and brings it into the public domain. When those comments turn negative, enormous damage can result. Sure, you can moderate it, but who monitors their facebook page 24/7 - only those who can afford to have someone 24/7 keeping tabs on what the people say. Then there';s the old dwindling content factor - running out of interesting posts, because lets face it, there really not that much great and interesting news to keep your hordes of likers interested. And now that every company they do business with has a Facebook page, and they are being heavily incentivised to like them all, it's practically a full time job just following the posts of the companies you do business with. Then when are you going to read their tweets? The biggest reason that Facebook is still around is that it is worth billions, and it is worth billions because some heavyweight institutions have lent it a lot of money, and their only chance right now of getting it out is to say it's value just keeps increasing and hope someone takes it off them. Remember the early days of the web - Elephants graveyard of poorly conceived websites. FB is / will be the same.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stats we like!

Statistics / metrics are a major part of online marketing - their exactness humbles traditional media.

Below are a few just released that we find particularly noteworthy:

In 2010, 30% of total email time was devoted to commercial emails, compared to 17% in 2005. (Merkle)

90-100% of Millennials (Ages 18-33) engage in email as an online activity. (Pew Research Center)

90% of adults internet users in every age group subscribed to emails from brands, while significantly fewer "liked" companies on Facebook or followed them on Twitter. (ExactTarget)

What conclusions can we draw from these - pretty much what we want, as with all stats, but I think the following are inescapable:

1. Facebook and Twitter will never replace email - just complement it

2. Email is a channel that demands, and achieves attention

3. Tomorrows customers are highly emailcentric - always remember this, because they are your future.

It's good to see stats suppoirting our belief that email is alive and well, and growing, not shrinking in significance.