140 Characters In Search Of Your Email Content

It's not a Pirandello play -- but Twitter, with its 140-character tweets, could be the latest play for maximizing the impact of your email program. And not only Twitter, but Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, blogs -- in fact all the newest channels -- provide a wonderful opportunity to migrate from siloed email marketing to true eCRM.

What does social media have to do with email? So much work goes into creating the offers, content, and creative for marketing emails and e-newsletters, it's a shame to confine the reach just to those who have signed up for your email program. With list churn being what it always is, and inboxes crammed with daily promotions from desperate retailers, it seems eminently logical to repurpose that content to other channels. It's simply more bang for your buck.

Follow me

With nearly 7 million monthly visitors and growing (according to Nielsen, April 2009), Twitter is a great venue to flag your hottest deals, and invite followers to visit your hosted content using or tinyURL. Time your tweets to coincide with your email blasts so that those who are signed up for both will get a double shot of awareness.




@ PrincessCruises: Short getaway ideas -- West Coast Sampler voyage details: #cruise

With Twitter you can create localized profiles, which is great for franchises.


@WholeFoodsDFW: catch them while you can starting Friday morning, fresh jumbo gulf white shrimp are 9.99 a pound save 5 bucks recipes later today

With imagination and humor, tweets can be beautiful teasers to attract followers to your brand in general.


@ cpkimball: My most challenging recipe? Mock Turtle Soup. Start by boiling a calf's head (after removing eyes and brains). Fried brainballs as garnish! (America's Test Kitchen)

Friend me

If you thought it was hard to write crisp, scannable email content, telling your story with Twitter's tiny tweets will feel like murder until you get the hang of it. This brings the discussion around to Facebook and MySpace, where you can breathe deeply again. Facebook updates max out around 415 characters, but more to the point, you can create a profile page for your brand or company to interact with fans and drive them to your main Web site or microsites.


CCF In Our Communities: Take the CCF World Water Day Challenge. In the world today, approximately 1.3 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Others don't have enough water to bathe or even wash their hands. And ...

Use your Facebook page to invite fans to events, start discussions, post updates and photos, request feedback and new ideas, host contests, and -- of course! -- sign them for up your emails.

Great example: H&R Block's Digits is a blog, a podcast, an online community, an email newsletter, a YouTube channel and a page on Facebook and MySpace. That's what I'm talking about.

Some companies extend special offers just for their fans, which is a great way to acquire more of them.


Friends and Family Offer for McKinsey Quarterly Facebook Fans: From now until June 15, 2009, Facebook fans can become Premium Members at our lowest available rates ...

Channel me

If you don't have a YouTube channel yet, you might want to start one soon. Now that e-marketers can deliver video in emails, you'll want a dedicated place to host your commercials and other video content.


Disney Parks Video Channel: Subscribers: 9,596; Channel Views: 548,644. Discover the wonder of Disney Parks as you enjoy official videos ...


Promote me

The best part about expanding your email content to other channels, in my opinion, is that it gives you several forums to hear back from customers and engage in conversations.

From now on, be sure your emails contain invitations to connect with you on these other channels. I recently received an email from Calloway's Nursery in Dallas that had linked images of its social media channels in the form of plant markers in dirt. Creative!

How about you, Mr. and Ms. Email Marketer? Is it time to think outside the email box, and maximize the reach of your e-marketing with these alternative channels?

2 comments about "140 Characters In Search Of Your Email Content ".
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  1. Cynthia Edwards from Razorfish, June 15, 2009 at 1:10 p.m.

    Follow the author @Simmerings

  2. Stephen Dolle from Dolle Communications, June 16, 2009 at 7:38 p.m.

    As Internet technology moves to web 2.5, I'd like to share a critical proposal on a new practice of using business email:

    I propose that users of business email establish separate 2 separate email accounts:

    1) One for business correspondence
    2) Another for sales and newsgroup material

    As many business users now integrate email with their mobile phone, I see no reason to receive general purpose and sales emails on your mobile phone. I am propose that business users and senders migrate over to a two (2) email system of separate bulk and business correspondence.

    My business card today has 2 email addresses. Users who send bulk or promotional mail to my business address get 86th'd. Please pass my "proposal" to all your business contacts so that we may modernize our business email practices as we move to web 2.5 and apps like the "140 Characters" cited in the above piece.

    Stephen Dolle
    Dolle Communications
    a.k.a. "Professor Mac"

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