I have blogged about mass deleting my inbox of emails I have eagerly signed up to receive. But this week there were two events that had me thinking that the reason is not the volume. The reason is the ones I delete I am not friends with. Even if I LIKE them on Facebook. And I realized the intimacy of a 1 to 1 form of marketing, which can be email. Even though 420 Billion emails are sent every day in the US (1440 per person) most of it spam.
But there is one way this is very different. For the Brands we do have a close relationship with. And you know very well we all have them, and almost all of them take place off social media vs on social media. Social Media is public. Phone. Email. SMS Text? Private. And who do we Phone, Email, Text? Friends and Family!
“Be My Friend?”
I erase most emails I get from Brands I LIKE;
but I read the emails from the Brands I am Friends with.
What is special about them?
They all built personal relationships with me. Almost all of them human to human in some way. I talk with Chobani’s social media team via email. I have visited the Vermont Coffee Company run by a devoted wonderful group of Friends who now are my Friends. My favorite restaurants and shops have staff and owners who recognize me or just have blown me away with the customer experience.
This is much easier on a Micro-Scale vs Macro-Scale. Two great examples of each:
Went with my folks to a tasty Italian Restaurant. My Dad got a coupon for his upcoming birthday via email. My experience? Will definitely go back. I only had this Lobster Ravioli and a Caesar Salad. My folks had Salmon and an Eggplant Dish. The service was very friendly and attentive. The restaurant very clean. A Manager asked how our food was during dinner and she said goodbye along with several staff on the way out. Friends.
Chili’s is spending I estimate $4-5 mil + to acquire 1 million emails in exchange for a free flatbread appetizer. This includes TV advertising, which I saw during the NBA Finals game last night. They didn’t ask you to LIKE their Facebook page. They asked for your email. And even on Facebook they are asking their 3 million plus fans for their email.
My guess is Chili’s has realized you can’t make Friends on Facebook. But they can make friends with you if you come to their restaurant. And if each recipient comes in with just 1 other person, that is worth the $2-4 per email cost.
BECAUSE FRIENDS OPEN EMAILS FROM FRIENDS
The question is how many of those Friend opportunities Chili’s can create with the customer visits. Are you making Friends with your customers? What are your special ways of doing so? I would love to hear.