Boy did Nick Usborne hit the nail on the head last week! Nick's article, Killing the Killer App illustrated the concept of the internet user's relationship with his or her mailbox really well. I had a major crisis a couple of weeks back in trying to decide whether to remain on the WWWAC list. This crisis came about for the same reasons Nick described in his article. (Ultimately I unsubscribed but that's another story for another time.)
This week, I'd like to take Nick's concept of the "intimacy we have with our mail" and use it to show how email marketing can screw up your online brand. Needless to say, this will likely generate megabytes of hate mail from those who have had success with email marketing, but I'm willing to put up with it.
Think, if you will, about the last time you got a piece of junk mail in your 'analog' mailbox. If you're like some folks, you just throw it away. However, people can get agitated by catalog companies and other direct mailers if the volume of junk mail gets out of hand.
Last year, I called a stock broker and gave him an earful after receiving eight separate manila envelopes from him in my mailbox at work. I was tired of receiving them. They really bugged me - to the point where I would never in a million, kajillion years ever consider using this guy as my broker.
Why did it bug me so much? After some reflection I realized that there were a few reasons -- all of them emotional.
There were probably other reasons for my reaction to this barrage of junk mail. But let's get to the point. After receiving this junk, I was really tempted to walk down to this guy's office and cram his manila envelopes down his throat. Sideways.
Let's port this concept over to the internet. Many of the marketers I speak to are considering email marketing, but they rarely consider that their target might have a negative response to their message. They typically give arguments like the ones listed below:
Maybe there are too many players in the email marketing game. The internet is still growing rapidly and many of us are already inundated with hundreds of commercial emails. Can you imagine what will happen as the internet continues to grow?
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Tom Hespos heads up the interactive media department at Mezzina Brown & Partners. He has been involved in online media buying since the commercial explosion of the Web and has worked at such firms as Young & Rubicam, K2 Design, NOVO Interactive/Blue Marble ACG, and his own independent consulting practice, Underscore Inc. For more information, please visit the Mezzina Brown Web site. He can be reached at email@example.com.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT