Here at Thought Den towers we love thinking up ways to improve engaging work (obviously), so something came to our attention after smacking the ‘Get Mail’ button and receiving 30odd fresh emails this morning.
“Isn’t it a bit much for a company to be noticed in amongst this quagmire of bother by using a simple email-out?”
The majority of my inbox is filled with personal stuff, and things I’ve signed up too so I’m never really sure how well all these text heavy HTML newsletters work now?
I suppose in a company mail-out is to say, “Hey, we’re doing good, look at all the cool stuff you want to know about us then you’ll want to use us“. But it so often feels like, “Here’s loads of text about our company that we like and so we’ve sent a blanket e-mail that didn’t take much time and really don’t mind if you read it or not“. This type of e-mail can wear a user down as it makes them associate your brand with being simply ‘deleted’ from their inbox as they don’t need to bother reading it.
Mail-outs that can miss the point,
When they don’t work
To be honest we’re bored of blanket e-mails with text & non-interesting pictures in them. If you think about it, who really cares for companies you have a loose association with “‘cos you bought something”, who wants to see it’s trophies and read their generic “Due to our following success… ” stories… no-one, unless they’re a fan. However, they’re not my friend but they’re contacting me on my personal box. It’s the same as 12 separate companies phoning you up in the morning and just talking at you for 10 minutes about stuff they’ve done.
I only read stuff in my e-mails that’s of interest to me, and when it’s stacked along with my other Facebook, Myspace, EasyJet, etc… e-mails, guess which one’s are going to get trashed?
The mail-out is missing something, it’s impersonal and doesn’t invoke our usual actions to e-mail we enjoy receiving, like a replying, forwarding or following a link.
So why not use the medium for what it’s best at? Let Thought Den play to the short attention span e-mails hold, to the content we enjoy receiving and leverage these notifications and conversations with people & things we care about into enjoying your brand.
You wouldn’t put a purely audio broadcast on a T.v’s advert slot, people would switch over (of off!). So don’t fill up an email with loads of ‘stuff’ that people normally view in a web browser. Let’s make sure that things to hit your client’s inbox provoke a reaction that doesn’t involve the delete button.
When does it work?
So what stuff do you enjoy receiving in your inbox? Sometimes it comes in the form of a link friend’s silly video, a “someone has commented on a picture of you” e-mail, a link promising something extra, or a funny forward that a friend knew you would enjoy. All those things normally you receive in your e-mail and action to reply, follow-up, read or just watch secretly in the hope no-one pops their head round to see your screen.
If you know your audience, what about a link to a 2 minute entertaining video of your company staff (http://uk.youtube.com/user/DeloitteFilmFest) or a fun company flash game (http://www.elfyourself.com/). Something a recipient can sneakily watch at the office, something they want to enjoy form their inbox. You never know, it might even draw their co-workers attention around their desk, and maybe even pass under the decision maker’s nose. What more positive attention could you want from a simple e-mail?
E-mail out is one part of your company’s conversation with your clients/prospective clients, and realistically we should expect people to interact with the medium like they do their other e-mails, maybe 1 action after receiving it, like a reply / them following a link to watch something / playing with something / forwarding it around.
If that medium is handled correctly you’ve gained people’s attention in their busy inbox and not only that they’ve spent time with your brand for maybe 5 minutes. That’s longer than the Cadbury’s Gorilla advert on T.V.
- Less is more – don’t spam them with dull ‘our monthly goings on’
- Talk about items of interest to them, not you
- Aim your promotion to provoke a response a normal e-mail would
So think about it first. Maybe release something that plays to your staff’s fortes in some videos, make something that re-enforces your values by a simple branded game and most defiantly don’t be afraid to deal with some company flaws or with misconceptions in a humorous way.
But just make something that people can enjoy it, so it turns your “e-mail out” into a marketing haven!
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