Notes from the Email Insider Summit

As any panelist will tell you, you just never get to talk about everything you want to while you’re up on stage. After our “Notes from the Digital Frontier” panel at the Email Insider Summit, I realized there were several points I wanted to reiterate and highlight with regard to email as a marketing outlet.

SPAM = Anything unwanted
Several attendees mentioned to me after the panel that they found it frustrating that we “junk” most, if not all, marketing emails. While we mentioned a few notable exceptions, it needs to be stated again that we consider most email marketing as SPAM. August has said it before, and I think the sentiment rings true for most, that SPAM is anything in our inboxes that we don’t want to be there. I realize that the technical definition of SPAM is much different, but for consumers perception is everything. We do see a lot of marketing emails as junk-worthy.

Information may entice us
That being said, the exceptions we mentioned have several similar characteristics. August and Brandon mentioned that they don’t mind receiving tech information, blogging and Apple updates; I love reading through my various newsletters and receiving informational emails from my opt-in lists. What these marketing emails have in common is that they are all deeply informational. There is new information that we all consider relevant, and that we can use in our respective fields. Additionally, with the exception of some newsletters, they only come into our inboxes a few times every month. I think most companies could look to these characteristics, adapt their information and strategies to fit our likes/dislikes, and these emails could end up much more effective.



Email marketing golden rule
As a rule, email marketing has to be timely, it has to be relevant, it has to be informational and it has to be incredibly targeted.

Facebook is personal
We were also questioned yesterday about whether we would mind receiving email-like marketing messages on Facebook. I think the resounding answer was – don’t do it! Facebook is too personal; its purpose is to be social and friend-oriented. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it might feel like a violation of privacy to have marketing messages appear in my inbox. However, like email, if I have opted-in to a group on Facebook which happens to be sponsored by a public interest group, I won’t mind hearing about updates and upcoming events from that organization. The key there is that sponsorship needs to be subtle and the content has to be timely, relevant, informational and targeted (like email).

Ask us questions!
Most importantly, I would like to thank MediaPost and all of the Email Insider Summit attendees for making us feel so welcome and listening to our opinions on these topics. We all had a wonderful time! Please send any additional questions our way – we will do our best to answer them in future editions of this blog. Enjoy the rest of the summit! I look forward to updates at the conference continues.

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