Best Idea for 2011. It’s Easy As Pie, But I Bet You Aren’t Doing It.

By | December 16, 2010

Margaret Farmakis writing for Return Path posted the question, “Is Email Sexy?” She then offered three reasons why email is sexy and three reasons why it’s not.

Margaret’s article is quite good but I think one of the reasons she cited for email’s allure is misleading — namely, our ability to dialog with it.

Fact is, most of the time it’s pretty difficult to dialog with email — at least in the case of most content-rich email coming from corporate and information-delivery sources. That’s a shame, because those content-rich emails are exactly the ones readers want to chat with.

In my October post titled “Auto Stealth: THIS Is the Top Marketing Idea of the Year,” I touted the brilliance of an email I got from Tim Pitts at Trendwatching.com. Why did I love it? Because it appeared to be from Tim to me (and only me) and because it invited my input.

The bulk of the email I get comes from the webmaster (whoever the heck she is). I checked my “electronic newsletter” folder to confirm that this is true. It is. I’ve also got entities writing me who are named newsletter, workforce, social media, reply, ncreply2, support, and editorinchief (a slight improvement in that this appears to be an actual human being .. or at least an avatar).

Margaret says, “A one-way conversation is never sexy. A dialog that elicits a response definitely is. Email enables marketers to create a dialog with their subscribers, customers and prospects.”

Maybe, except “webmaster” keeps getting in the way.

Could this be a workable New Year’s Resolution for marketers — to send customers an email they can respond to? I mean — if under the new model — everything else is going social, why do you suppose email is so darn .. well, one-sided?

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