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E-mail Is Part of Web 2.0

  |  July 23, 2007   |  Comments

Three tips for integrating e-mail into Web 2.0.

As a large, global advertising agency, we're expected to be able to provide strategic and innovative insights about what advertising's and marketing's future. This is a great role to be in, but recently I've been hearing one question that makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

With a clear shift into a Web 2.0 environment and planning already underway for what Web 3.0 will include, off-site peer-driven marketing conversations are the topic in almost every meeting. This means social networks, blogs, communities, RSS, and everything else that is so 2-dot-0. And with each of these conversations, I hear the same issue: "So...Web 2.0 means e-mail is dead, right? Because it really doesn't fit."

When people see the veins in my neck pop out, they realize they should rephrase the question, asking instead, "How does e-mail fit into the Web 2.0 world?"

My answer is this: E-mail is an absolutely essential element of Web 2.0 strategy. If you aren't including e-mail in your media plans, site development plans, or overall strategy, you'll find yourself at a significant competitive disadvantage in about five months.

In the Web 2.0 world, customers and prospects rely less on a site to inform them about products and services and more on peer networking. With its long-tail effect, the peer-to-peer networking world is extremely large and very niche. It's impossible to effectively monitor and harness all the messages and buzz about a brand. This series of changes has definitely led to marketers' loss of control over product and service influence and messaging.

E-mail is the only chance we have to refocus and redirect a customer's or prospect's attention back to the brand, store, and site. And e-mail isn't going away anytime soon.

Gathering an e-mail address from visitors to your store, telecenter, or site is like attaching a magical hook to them. It gives you the ability to reel them in whenever you see fit. To ensure your hook is as effective as possible follow these three guidelines:

  • Ask for e-mail addresses on your site's home and landing pages, as well as in other media channels. Send a thank-you e-mail to validate the address as correct. I know this seems basic, but many companies don't do this. Asking for an e-mail address is the first step in getting someone to give you an e-mail address.

  • In your social network and community ads, include an opt-in request. If readers happen to be on an iPhone blog and see an ad for your company about iPhone service, it's a perfect time to get them to opt in without having them go to your site to do it.

  • Plan to e-mail your entire user base once a quarter. I know, I know. You're an advanced marketer and pull your lists only by segment. News flash: over 30 percent of the list never gets an e-mail from you. Take the time to send an e-mail to your entire e-mail opt-in base at least once a quarter to keep the relationship strong.

These three ideas can give you a significant advantage in the marketplace. Additionally, they being to address how e-mail plays a role in the Web 2.0 environment. This is just a start. If there's interest in this topic, e-mail me, and I'll talk more about it in future columns.

Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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