Monday, July 26, 2010

Ben & Jerry's UK - when is electronic mail NOT acceptable?

I've been operating under the assumption that acceptance of e-mail is directly proportional to one's age. Or, in other words, a 14 year old might not care for it, but a 74 year old might.

Based upon this, and based upon the fact that Ben & Jerry's has been around for a long time, it was surprising to learn that Ben & Jerry's in the UK is discontinuing e-mail promotions. According to Brian Whalley, the chaps at the UK office sent out an e-mail, encouraged their fans to befriend them on Facebook and Twitter, and then said that this was the last message.

I learned about this via Lauren Huston's Facebook page, and the consensus among her commenters was that it didn't make sense to cut off one marketing avenue entirely. In a separate post, Martin Lieberman explains why:

While many people may like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, I’ll bet not every person who does uses social media. As a result, it should be everywhere its customers are, and the inbox is no exception. This is a lesson many small businesses and organizations have learned in recent years.

However, Whalley made the following point in his post:

Since it is also much cheaper to tweet or send a Facebook message to that many people than to send that volume of email from a major email service provider and maintain that email marketing contract, they are also saving a significant amount of money in their marketing budget by focusing on social communication and then letting their fans spread the message for them. The cost savings was clearly a major factor in their decision to focus entirely on social media.

With all of the spam that ends up in the junk e-mail folder of my super-secret personal account, I never thought I'd see the day when e-mail marketing was too expensive.
blog comments powered by Disqus