Open Letter to Facebook (Per Your Email Program)

Dear Facebook,

We get it that you may be worth $100 billion and that your future looks bright. Well, so does email marketing. I know you are busy, but I wanted to share a few metrics to convince you to properly invest in your email marketing efforts:

  • Email is the preferred method of commercial communication by 74 percent of all online adults. Source: Merkle
  • Nearly two-thirds of companies will increase spending on email marketing, and 57 percent will put more dollars toward social media marketing in 2011. Source: StrongMail
  • Facebook is the most commonly used social media site to be integrated into email campaigns, with 80 percent of North American online marketers having used it. Source: Lyris
  • Nearly half of daily deal subscribers were excited enough about them that they said they “can’t wait” to see the latest deals in the messages. Sources: Yahoo Mail and Ipsos OTX MediaCT
  • The vast majority of responding companies (72 percent) rate email as “excellent” or “good” for return on investment. Source: Econsultancy
  • Email marketing generated an ROI of $ 42.08 in 2010. Source: DMA
  • 63 percent of mobile email users check the account a minimum of once per day. Source: Merkle
  • 94 percent of daily email users subscribed to marketing messages. Source: ExactTarget

I can let your COO’s comment about email dying pass. I can also acknowledge that email is changing and that your Messages platform is evolving with it. However, email is a huge part of what your 500 million plus members do on your network. You can do better.

You slowly embraced email with a weekly Facebook page update and that was a decent start. Now, that you have launched Deals and are diving into the daily deals space, you really get it that email will be the way for local advertisers to reach your members’ inboxes. But guess what? To put it kindly, your email marketing stinks.

In the interest of constructive criticism, I have offered up some advice (Free – ends today!) below on how to get with the program and leverage this most powerful channel, not just use it as a necessary evil.

Creative needs some oomph. Your brand is a global and powerful one. Heck, you had a movie made essentially about it. The emails, though, scream for more and in my humble opinion look like they were developed by a couple of high school dudes in Word doc with an image (clip art of astroturf!) thrown in. Surely, you have the resources and assets to take it to the next level and beyond).


Calls to action. Okay, old school email practices aren’t your thing. But these emails cry for more calls to action, maybe another button, and something visually compelling that get people to learn more and take advantage of these offers. Remember, links above the fold will be seen more.

Target. This is necessary for better, more relevant offers. Wait, a minute. Facebook, you know my birthday, where I work, and even what my kids look like. Surely, you can deliver to me some more targeted and customized offers based on this treasure trove of data you keep on me and others, right? Let’s use that for good use not just conversations with Congress.

Give some love to the copy and messaging. Not sure how the email, below, would be sharable for sports fans. It also appears you are reusing the same pre-header for very different offers. “Buy a deal, invite your friends, and have new adventures” is pretty lame for a Keith Urban concert, Falcons game, and a local café offer tease.


Add secondary and/or local content. This could be the way to show that you have some skin in the game. This is a localized marketing effort and these emails (Atlanta deals, at least) sure scream that they were created on the left coast without boots (and care) on the ground in Georgia. Rival Scoutmob uses its quirky brand persona to demonstrate its local prowess while LivingSocial provides additional deals as opposed to just one in the event they miss the mark.



I could go on. But let’s see what my loyal readers have to offer, too, and see where you take these ideas. Please know I will continue to read these – at least for another week or two as most of the offers prove to be off-target to me and I know you know a lot about me. You have a lot of competition and I want you to realize you have to be good at email marketing for this to work, regardless of your strengths in building community and offering cool functionality.

Yours truly,

Simms Jenkins

Deals subscriber

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