Email as social media


Rachel Luxemburg, a good friend of mine who runs the Community team over at Adobe, tweeted a link to Successful Social Media is More Than A Campaign. I was reading that article and realized quite how much of it applies to email. In fact, a couple of Amber’s specific recommendations are directly relevant to email.

Businesses that are supporting their outward facing social media efforts with a true underlying philosophy are the ones that will win in the long run. That means your campaigns need to be representative of broader goals to:

  • Listen to the newly amplified and disseminated voices of your customers online, and the feedback they’re sharing
  • Respond to that feedback, and take it into consideration when you make decisions related to how you operate
  • Provide helpful, useful information to your customers that supports their entire relationship with you, not just their moment of purchase

Sounds exactly like the rules of engagement to me. Unlike social media, there aren’t as many direct routes to feedback. You’re not going to get a response on a Facebook page, or an angry tweet in response to an email, but if you’re listening to your recipients you can get feedback. That feedback is not just the standard open rate or unsubscribes or clicks or ROI. You can leverage social networks and look for people talking about the campaign or sharing links with members of their networks.
Email is more than just a way to batch and blast, it is social. Are you holding up your end of the relationship?

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  • Sounds exactly like what the Cluetrain Manifesto said ten years ago, actually.
    As Douglas Rushkoff wrote in his latest book: “The history of the Internet can probably best be understood as a social medium repeatedly shaking off attempts to turn it into something else.”

  • With so many ways to interact with your subscribers nowadays, there is no excuse not to. To simply send the same type of email again and again to your subscribers isn’t enough. Use FB, Twitter or even surveys to get real responses and feedback… and actually use that feedback to improve your program! It make take extra time, but it is worth it in the long run because it will make the difference between an occasional email-opener and a loyal customer!

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