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The truth about spam, social media and email

Email sucks and social media is better…

Image credit: Bravo

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Why? Because spam, that’s why.

Our email accounts are loaded with unread emails.

A mysterious maverick known only as “Joey M.”, from Rhode Island, has managed to amass 4,294,967,256 unread emails in his inbox. He is the current world record holder for most unread emails.

You can see a weird, grainy video of him proving his amazing accomplishment (featuring his thumb) here.

Presumably it really took some effort on Joey M’s part to reach such a milestone, and was totally worth it.

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But even for the less exceptional among us, unread emails can really pile up.

 

The truth about spam, social media and email

If we aren’t reading those emails, it is probably because they are unimportant, which makes them spam.

Spam = advertising. And we are too cool to fall for that, so email must be uncool.

Let’s go hang out on social media with the cool kids, where we can all feel cool in a spam-free medium.

Our inboxes will hardly ever get spammed! RADICAL!

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Sound logic, right?

Not really.

Go log on to Twitter, or Facebook. You know, the giants of social media.

Check your message box. Hardly any spam.

Score one for social media!

But wait, what’s that?

Image credit: Sony Pictures Television

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That thing on your newsfeed.

It sort of looks like all the posts from your friends. In fact, aside from a tiny disclaimer up top, it looks EXACTLY like all the posts from your friends.

On Facebook they call it a “Suggested Post” on Twitter it’s called a “Promoted Tweet”, and looks like this:

 

 

How often do you click on those?

Probably about as often as you open a marketing email. Namely, only on such occasions as those posts offer you something you want.

The rest of the time, you probably just scroll on by.

You know, sort of like you do with marketing emails that don’t tickle your fancy.

The only difference is, there isn’t a little counter up top to show you how many times you’ve ignored one.

If there were, surely our buddy Joey M would be hard at work right now, scrolling madly with that famous thumb of his, and dreaming of the glory he will experience when he becomes the most spammed social media user of all time.

So what’s our point?

We are email marketers. When we hear the word “spam” it gets our hackles up.

Image credit: NBC

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When our chosen medium is ridiculed for dubious reasons, and another medium is held up as a shining example of marketing purity in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, we get annoyed.

Because really, which is more honest:

To send an email to a person who has voluntarily joined a mailing list at some point in their spending history, clearly marked as being sent from a company, and allow the recipient the option to unsubscribe, be removed from our mailing lists, or simply not open the email at all?

Or to foist posts on people, without their consent, make them appear identical to all non-marketing posts, targeted directly at said people based on their internet browsing data (again without their consent), and, if they opt out of that particular company’s posts, simply replace them with ones from a different company instantly?

Who are the real “spammers” here?

At least with email we all have choice.

Go nuts.

Send it to the junk box.

Don’t open it.

Don’t read it.

Unsubscribe.

The choice is yours.

And so is your inbox.

Your social media accounts? Your newsfeeds? They belong to someone else, and you will look at what they want you to look at. You have no choice.

That is the deal.

And choice, more than anything else is, in our humble opinion, the single biggest reason why email marketing consistently and overwhelmingly outperforms social media marketing in ROI.

And it is why email is, and always will be, important.

Also, as our friend Joey M has shown us, there is plenty of room in those inboxes, so who really cares?

 

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