MIMA – Inbox Insanity: The Future of Email Marketing

jeffI was fortunate to attend another MIMA event  that attracted enough interested marketers to pack a rather spacious Depot room…  despite less than ideal Minnesota weather.

The speaker, Jeff Rohrs,  was as engaging as always. I remembered him from The New eMarketing Essentials conference  – a very insightful event brought to Minneapolis by ExactTarget   last spring.

Jeff Rohrs started from the definition of Social Media and to my delight described it throughout the history of humanity starting from the stone age… 

All social media is trying to replicate personal conversation.

victorianinternetHa! It was a pleasure to hear this definition after all my arguments in MBA classes about e-business. I categorically refuse to recognize “e-business” as something separate from a “regular business using the Internet as channel.”

Jeff Rohrs recommended a book Victorian Internet  that sheds light on another revolutionary communication channel and it growing pains.

Ideas from the presentation:

  • We are experiencing “inbox explosion,” where we have to monitor too many inboxes that exist for different purposes, including mail, phone, IM, Facebook, LinkedIn, financial services inboxes (for security purposes), WordPress, Twitter, Yammer, UouTube, Flikr…
  • However, all social networks use e-mail to set accounts and to communicate with members…
  • There is a need to create a “universal” inbox… Yahoo is attempting it with Yahoo Social Inbox 
  • However…  the e-mail is still #1 inbox….  The other networks are “inside” the e-mail box.

yahooWhat it all means for marketers?

  • We are not in control
  • Marketing communications increasingly exist by invitation (particularly with millenials)
  • Invitations are easily revoked

Marketers should resist the pressure to send more e-mails…  “You want them to follow, but only if it is relevant for them…”

Agnostic Philosophy

  • serve individuals
  • honor their uniquespreferences with regard to
    • communication
    • contact
    • frequency
    • channel
  • Deliver them timely relevant content that improves their lives

Other interesting points:

  • Direct mail is considered more appropriate for unsolicited messages than any other form of communication….  But it might be because the cost of direct mail prevents too much “spam….”
  • Twitter search is superior to Google search for current events (yes, I noticed…)
  • Considering inbox explosion, a “subscriber” could be a prospect, a friend, a follower, a connection, etc.

As usually, thank you ExactTarget   😉  I am hoping we can see another conference in Minneapolis this year…

I also loved the food…