Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur, accomplished his presentation goal at the IN Conference this morning: to give email marketers some interesting thoughts, words and images to take back to their organizations for how to not be average.
How can email marketers achieve that? By approaching email marketing with the goal of promoting ideas that spread, rather than just interrupting people with the same messaging that gets blasted to everyone, day in and day out. This results in the creation of average products for average people – a mass-market distribution approach that calls for the dumbing-down of the marketing that supports it. So what happens? Consumers learn to quickly tune marketers out and ignore their same one-dimensional messaging. Marketers become invisible amongst all the clutter.
For email subscribers, that means they receive an overwhelming amount of junk, and it’s perceived as junk because the messages are impersonal and irrelevant. Seth challenged the group to evolve our thinking, while acknowledging the fact that it’s much easier to be average as opposed to “zigging” when everyone “zags.”
So how can marketers change their thinking? By embracing the fact that they are part of an amazing industrial revolution that is taking place. Email is an incredible medium and a channel that can provide infinite opportunities for revenue, branding and relationship building. Marketers have the privilege of being able to send anticipated, relevant and personal messages to the people who want to receive them. Seth summed that up nicely by saying, “Permission is not being TOLERATED; it’s being ANTICIPATED.”
He gave the group 14 big ideas that can change the way they think about email marketing and help them to break out of the “average” box. Some of those big ideas included:
At the end of the day, email marketing should be about giving people what they want, connecting them to each other and then getting out of the way.
According to Seth, marketers can achieve this by being remarkable (or starting over until they are), telling an engaging story about how their products help consumers live better lives and creating brand ambassadors in the process who will spread the word for you. Then marketers can get permission to tell the next person, and so on.