Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Why Is Everybody Out to Get Email?

This has been sitting in my "must blog about this folder" (otherwise known as the place where rants go to die) since last week, but Dela Quist's excellent post and its repost stole most of my thunder, but that got me to thinking, "Why is everybody out to kill email?"

I know what your thinking. Oh boy, Skip has gone round the paranoid conspiracy theory bend, but I would argue that just because you are paranoid does not mean that everybody is not out to get you.

In the nine years that I have been in email, we have been bombarded with the "next email killer", which were in order of appearance:
  1. Mobile (SMS)
  2. RSS
  3. Mobile again (WAP)
  4. Social Networking
  5. Mobile yet again (going for third time lucky with 3G devices)
  6. Twitter (really?)
What did email ever do to these guys. I could totally see it if the above the line or direct marketers were gunning for email but you will notice that all of these channels are so called new media.

I am a big fan of the concept that a rising tide lifts all boats. Instead of thinking that we should be stealing usage (read as budget) from each other we should be working together to create marketing programs that deliver messages to consumers that they find relevant using a channel that is both appropriate to the message and convenient for them.

Looking at these key components in a bit more detail:
  • Relevant - I defy any email marketer to speak about the channel for more than five minutes without using this word. The social network proponents would argue that something posted by one of my friends will be relevant to me. To them I point out that while he was a very charming character, would you pop around to Hannibal Lecter's house for dinner?
  • Appropriate - Even though it might be legal in some countries. A text message is not the best way to ask your missus for a divorce.
  • Convenient - My iPhone is always with me and I would be happy to begin a dialogue with a car company where they collect my details using the mobile channel and them move the conversation to a channel where I can get the details on the car more easily (such as email followed by web).
In this economy cooperation will serve us all better then competition. In the immortal but less quoted words of Rodney King, "Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it."

1 comment:

denise said...

And the other Rodney here too. It seems email has something in common with the legendary Rodney Dangerfield! It doesn't get any respect! Weird. And yes, like the other Rodney, we should all get along. Put the "multi" back in multichannel!