January 29th, 2009
by Anne Orfila
Today I have been indoors all day, with a sick child, and feeling about 10% sick myself. Loading myself up on elderberry, with a hot cup of green tea, I’ve sat in front of the computer for the better part of the day, sort of working, sort of researching, sort of playing. Not the most productive day I’ve ever had and that is okay!
Another wild web woman and I were discussing pushing out an enewsletter for one of our clients. As seems to always be the case, up for discussion is content – we have to put something together that appeals to 500+ Americans that are on the subscription list - all ages, all different interests, income levels, you get the picture. How do you do capture the attention of a crowd like that? We’d be dancing on tables if 50% of those people opened and read our content.
So with that in mind, I was perusing some search marketing blogs for new rules of email marketing that I might have missed in the last 48 hours and came across an interesting point of view. Posted by Edmund Wong and titled “It May Help to Think of Twitter Like Email Marketing … Sorta“, Wong points out that Twitter may be a new marketing leveraging medium. “If you set up a Twitter account and get followers, that’s like customers signing up to be on your email list and opting in for future marketing communications.” But will people really follow you? Let’s assess. The client I spoke of above who needs an enewsletter deployed has 500+ people on his subscription list. These are customers, friends, family, and more, that has taken him years to build. The same client also started a Twitter account in October (only three months ago) and already has 305 followers, growing at that same rate, he will surpass 500 in just a few months. That settled, Wong points out a few other notables about the difference between twittering and traditional email marketing campaigns:
- “Email marketing can be highly targeted and versioned. You can’t easily do that on Twitter (at least not with one account). It’s one-size-fits-all.”
- “Twitter is primarily used as a public broadcast medium. But unlike other broadcast media like TV, radio or even banner ads, Twitter is opt-in and users can un-follow you with one click any time.”
- “It doesn’t require heavy creative resources to deploy a campaign – no graphics to create, or layout and limited copywriting (the 140 character text limit helps serve as a forcing function).”
- “Tweets (the equivalent of an email blast) can be made much faster than email communications because of the casual, limited text nature of “tweets”.”
- “No need to deal with being blacklisted or wasting all your time managing and scrubbing your email database. Twitter bounceback rate? There’s no such thing?”
- “Twitter technically costs nearly nothing to setup and manage, but does require human resources to maintain active presence in this community.”
Finally, Wong points out that big businesses have already caught on to this low-cost phenomenon. Zappos, Doubletree Hotels and Comcast are among the variety of businesses that have already set up their Twitter accounts.
With this in mind, I had an “a-ha” moment about our enewsletter that just made me feel all twitter-y inside! We’ll stick to the traditional enewsletter (am I really calling it “traditional”? Just reinforcing how fast the web world moves!) and hope the open rate blows through the roof this month, and we will also Twitter it (or “tweet” it, properly speaking Twitter). All of the content, one item at a time. That certainly will cover all bases! Our client will be thrilled! I’m feeling better already and disregard what I said about this not being a productive day!