The “email isn’t dead” think piece has become something of a cottage industry. Several email savants, including my good friend Chris Marriott, have written very convincingly of the continuing value of email marketing both to marketers and to consumers.
Rather than add to this august body of work, I’d like to begin another line of inquiry: why do businesses keep trying to kill email?
Do not ask for whom the email bell tolls…
The answer to this question gives us some insight not only on how to keep it alive but also how to make email thrive for your business.
When marketers discuss using consumer data to drive content or offers in addressable communications such as email, apps or on-site messages, sooner or later the word “creepy” comes up. Front-and-center stand such examples as the New York Times’s infamous “father learns of daughter’s pregnancy via direct mail” article.
However, even ordinary consumers in ordinary situations may feel that a marketer has violated some form of privacy when it reveals too much about what it knows in an email or SMS.
We all agree that we want to avoid creepiness, but I don’t think we marketers, as a group, have established a working definition of creepy. While no one would deny the creepiness of the lubricant example above, would an offer for sports equipment or kitchenware have raised an eyebrow? How can we create a standard for what kinds of data are off-limits? Continue reading →