Email a Conversation? Pshaw!
By Ken Magill
A debate broke out on Twitter last week over whether or not email marketing can be a conversation. Some people I respect said ‘yes,’ some people I respect said ‘no.’
Count me among those in the ‘no’ camp.
Marketers are forever trying to cast their relationships with customers as personal interactions using terms such as—my personal favorite—touchpoints.
With the exception of a handful of professions, people don’t generally pay to be touched. Heck, the only times I’ve paid to be touched were on appointments with doctors, dentists and that time in Amsterdam when me and my military buddies … um, never mind.
In any case, the only way email marketing can be considered a conversation is if we concede one side has Tourette syndrome.
Here’s an idea. Why don’t I throw together an imaginary cocktail party where I invite a bunch of the folks in my inbox? Let’s see how those conversations might go.
Hey, look over there. It’s my new friend Twitter. I used to think Twitter was a useless stupid jackass until she drove my page views through the roof.
“Hey, Twitter! Great to see you! How’ve you been?”
“OGT is now following you on Twitter!”
“Oh, that’s nice. How’ve you been?”
“Silvia is now following you on Twitter!”
“That’s cool. Is she pretty?”
“New Pulse Management is now following you on Twitter!”
“That’s great. Hey, I see someone I need to speak to, will you excuse me?”
“Sandy Buchanan is now following you on Twitter!”
“Okay, Twitter. Just keep those page views coming, alright? See you.”
“Spamrecipes.org is now following you on Twitter!”
Hey, there’s my friend Anne from Marketing Profs. I’ve always respected her work.
“Hey, Anne. How’s life?”
“Everything You Need to Know About Social Media But are Afraid to Ask”
“Um, okay. Actually, there’s not a whole lot I’m afraid to ask when it comes to social media, Anne. It’s that … um … other thing I’m afraid to ask about and I really don’t think we’re close enough to talk about it, m’kay? Let’s just pretend this exchange never happened.”
Ooh, look over there! That is probably one of my favorite people at this party: Cigar Auctioneer. Ever since I met him, I no longer buy cigars at retail prices. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved because of him. Spent a lot with him, too.
“Hey Cigar Auctioneer. How’s it hangin’?”
“Ending at Midnight: San Cristobal, Opus X, My father & more”
“Really, Cigar Auctioneer? After all the money I’ve spent with you, you still don’t know I wouldn’t buy an Opus X in a million years?”
Hang on. I see a person over there I don’t know.
“Excuse me. Were you invited?”
“Are you fed up with the size of your manhood?”
Author’s note: Here’s a link to the blog post by Scott Cohen, vice president of managed services, Inbox Group, that started the debate.