I got a new email from Marketing Sherpa (here – free for two weeks or so). I was surprised by the report, which includes things like:
- “RSS challenge #1. No HTML graphics. You can’t put your logo, or a product shot, or a photo, or any graphic…” (ed:I guess they never tried a Flickr feed, or the new business week feed)
- “You can’t send a newsletter with a variety of items in it for people to click on. You can only send one item, one article, one hotlink…” (ed:it must be hard to get away from that “sending” metaphor)
- “You don’t have much space to get your message across in a feed — unless you can get the viewer to click to your site.” (ed:they should subscribe to Dave Pollard’s blog)
- “To put it another way, an email newsletter is like a print magazine while an RSS feed is like a telegram.” (ed:uh…)
They further quote:
“One typical RSS reader vendor reports customers sign up for 70 to 80 feeds each, use their RSS readers about 15 minutes a day, and don’t necessarily check their feeds daily. (Makes us wonder how that typical customer can wade through 70-80 or more feeds in their in-box in just 15 minutes per day. We suspect your feed headline has to be exceptionally well copywritten to catch the eye in that overloaded box.)”
I wonder what box they are talking about?
The article also moans about the loss of tracking and measurement capabilities – “No deliverability, open rates, hard vs soft bounces. No a/b tests, no usability tests, no offer tests, no recency/frequency tests, and multivariable testing is not even on the map.”
What the heck! Look – I have done a lot of email marketing myself – and I too like the metrics. But that’s not what this is all about. At the end of the day it’s about improving the quality of the dialog with you customers and prospects (ok…you can call it improve the quality of your leads), increasing sales or whatever other “end goal” you have. And if you have offers or ads in your feed, you count the clickthroughs – what else do you need?
It is disappointing to see how much dis/misinformation is being spread out there. I am sure that after the recent wave of publicity surrounding blogs and all these other new technologies – many CEO’s have asked their marketing department to evaluate ways by which their companies can take advantage of that. The last thing a confused marketing exec needs is false ammunition on why not to embrace this new technology/medium!