Last week we talked about how marketers that are not leveraging community in the form of special interest-based e-mail newsgroups and forums are missing a huge opportunity. What we didn't have time to say was that it is important that those marketing efforts not be clandestine in any way.
This week I attended Internet Advertising World and as I was sitting through one of the sessions on creativity and my mind started to drift.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a conversation I had with a friend when he asked me, "Is e-mail still a viable way to reach anybody? I've been getting so much spam lately that I've started to trash anything that I don't instantly recognize." I assured him that not only is e-mail marketing still very viable, but is still one of the most effective ways to drive branding and direct response efforts.
Imagine this scenario: You pick up the phone to call a business contact. Instead of connecting you get a message saying that your call has been blocked. Your phone number has been hijacked by an unknown person, and for unknown reasons. And in order to have your phone service restored you needed to pay a $50 fee for each call you've made to the hijacker's favorite charity. Sound far-fetched?
It's a slow week here at the E-mail Insider Chateaux. It is the dog days of summer and everyone's out of town. We are all gearing up for September, so this week it is hard to get motivated. That means that I'm going to take advantage of the fact that most of you are away from work to discuss something that is more speculation than fact, more notion than theory. It is what I'm coining as the Invisible Channel.