Inbox Reserve Part III: Email Notifications go Prime Time

In Inbox Reserve parts one and two, we discovered how socially centric preference centers and subject lines will lead to
dramatically higher engagement and lower spam complaints. In part III below, we'll identify challenges that are inherent with acquiring a subscribers social data points and what the benefits are to your brand once

Challenge:  Develop a Preference Center Marketing

The challenge for today’s brand marketer is to find ways to
seductively charm subscribers to fully or partially divulge their social media
credentials through an intuitive preference center.  Some subscribers will immediately acquiesce,
while others will be more sensitive and allow the brand only a partial glimpse
into their social networks.  For example,
B2B focused subscribers may prefer to provide only credentials of their LinkedIn network
and not necessarily Facebook or Twitter. 
Future preference centers will allow you to prioritize which social networks you want linked to a given brand.

For this concept to work, marketers must
demonstrate to subscribers the value of this initiative. Those subscribers who opt-in will glean more value and insight through their network associated with
a given brand, because knowing what transactions are taking place with their
social networks is in most cases desired.  Once brands amass these nuggets of data; designers,
engineers and email marketing specialists will collaborate to produce instinctive methods of engagement while furthering your brands credibility.

Brands must take a proactive approach with subscribers to induce them to release this essential data.  A strategic
marketing program targeted towards this master preference center with strong calls-to-action should be integrated into your marketing mix. 
This marketing program should primarily focus on the features, benefits
and value of updating socially centric preferences.


Emphasize Value and Benefits

One way to galvanize a brands subscriber base is to
highlight reasons “why” updating your preference center is so valuable.  In your email marketing program, dedicate sends that emphasize the real value of managing and sharing social media credentials.  Market your preference center through other channels as well. Read Stephanie Miller's stellar post
on why earning
permission is divine.

Future marketing programs for updating preference centers
should illustrate value–based notifications of activity within a subscribers given
network: For example,
in the email message itself give subscribers the option to choose from a host
of alert notifications such as:

  • Alert me when a member of my network makes a
    purchase from this brand
  • Alert me when a member of my network signs up to
    receive newsletters from this brand
  • Alert me when a member of my network reviews a product from this brand

This type of socially centric messaging will echo well with
subscribers and will develop an affinity not only your
brand but just as importantly your preference center.  These notifications will go "prime-time" and will replace the current generic “marketing
messages” we currently receive.  Messages of this nature could be an excellent resource for winning back dormant

Furthermore, your subscribers might want to be immediately
notified if a person from their network reviewed a nearby restaurant?  By giving your subscribers “night-vision”
into their social networks, brands will have a simpler time summoning
subscribers to release this coveted information.   Benefits to brands include far fewer
defections from list segments, increased engagement, an awakening to dormant
subscribers and significantly fewer “spam complaints.”

Immediate Benefits to the Brand

Credibility- As discussed throughout this series, socialized messaging of this nature provides a more intimate user experience.  It permits a subscriber to feel that the
message is about their social ecosystem first and about the brand second.  It authorizes subscribers and their network
to indirectly promote your brand, through a more relaxed conversation. 

Reduced Costs- Socialized messaging, will significantly reduce
a brands’ overall operating expenses, because of a higher engagement index,
fewer spam complains and better inbox placements rates.  Socialized messaging will
increase sender reputation which reduces message handling costs including more
relaxed human filtering steps with a given brand.  

Validation through Engagement- The ability to quickly connect
with your peers before clicking the
purchase button will soon be the “de facto” model for how to validate a
purchase through a given brand. Acquiring validation from your trusted network means that an emotional and financial investment has been
made on behalf of your friends and colleagues.  With a swift chat session with members of their network, your subscribers will discern information about a featured product/service, which accelerates immediate gratification for
the purchaser.  Building a subscriber
centric brand will add considerable value to your existing customer base and through crosshairs will magnify brand integrity.  Your feedback on this series is valued.

Fred Tabsharani

Port25 Solutions, Inc.


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2 Responses to “Inbox Reserve Part III: Email Notifications go Prime Time”

  1. Andy T
    March 9, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    I agree: while not quite main stream (yet), socialised media is well into common marketing communication and practice so now there are many, many ways to communicate.
    One thing socialised media has shown us is that attention spans are short but access to information and products are wide.
    Each person who wants to interact has a preference, normally revolving around their convenience, like mobile devices vs computers.
    As marketers we no longer have the control to try and gently nudge our interactors into a our preferred method of communication, we have to provide options to make it as convenient as possible for people to interact with us their way.
    At the same time we have to build and maintain the trust with them so that they will continue to engage with us.
    If you don't get involved or get it wrong, there is a lot of access to someone who will and if they're more convenient you might miss an opportunity!

  2. Fred Tabsharani
    March 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Andy, thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.