Social media sites and the impact on email marketing

At DMNews, there is a column about the impact of social media on email marketing, which is quite interesting:

Today’s younger generation is the single best predictor of future behaviors. And right now they are leveraging multiple social Web sites: MySpace and Facebook to chat with friends, Evite to send party invitations and LinkedIn to stay front and center for new business relationships. E-mail for these users has become a tool used strictly for the purpose of collecting business information — special offers, promotions and business information.

As we increase our usage of social networks, our use of e-mail will inevitably decline, reducing the success of e-mail marketing campaigns. Marketers need to take the time to understand what sites their users are comfortable in and then evaluate marketing opportunities in those spaces.

I don’t think it’s only that. (But it will be a large factor.) The other email killer is things like skype and other chat tools, mobile phone messaging, and RSS.

For any communication with your contacts, ther is a better way than email. Or at least there will be. With spam still filling most people’s inbox, they will undoubtedly move to other, uninterrupted channels and only open their email accounts to separate the „bacn“ from the spam.

So email marketing is not dead, as people will continue to use it. But in the next 5 years or so, we’ll probably see a shift in usage patterns, decreasing the target audiences attention to email. It is now, that we need to test the alternatives, so that we have working tactics in the future.

Try out producing widgets for facebook, offering RSS feeds (this should already be a no brainer!), sponsor chats and communities (or offer them yourself), and may be start advertising on the long tail of the web…

Bacn spreading like a mad virus

Sometimes things only need a name in order to spread around the globe like a mad virus on speed. This time, it’s bacn. Yes, like bacon, but only without the ‚O‘. And again yes: it’s derived from the same thought family as spam. If in doubt, visit the site that was put up specifically for this term.

The whole notion of bacn was coined during the podcamp in Pittsburgh, and is spreading since then.

For anyone not wanting to watch the above video: bacn is anything in your inbox that is not personal email, but it also isn’t unsolicited jung mail, aka spam.

It’s anything inbetween that you get as a notification but don’t need to read because once it notified you by simply sitting in your inbox, it’s done its job. No need to read the contents of the email. Examples are notifications from facebook, your own blog, flickr, or any other communities.

I like the way things need a name and all of a sudden the idea behind it can spread so much easier than before. It was the same with web 2.0. Everyone knew there was something out there that needed discussion, but noone could name it. Still noone can define exactly what web 2.0 is and what it isn’t. But at least everyone can talk about ‚it‘ now. And I guess that’s the same with bacn now. It won’t take long and we’ll find the first mainstream media headlines mentioning that word.