Something I've got to master is the art of the quick, dirty and pithy post. After all, doesn't blogging mean you put up what's on your mind as soon as you can, without thinking about it? Sure it does. You know it's true, because you're reading it on a blog.
So I happen to work in the realm of email marketing. Yes, yes, I believe you could call us a spam factory, but at least we're using a proprietary confirmed opt-in list, and not sending to the great unknown. That alone is a big leg up. But the question of today is just what we send. You know, I've been reading that ol' Cluetrain Manifesto I mentioned earlier, and parts of it are really starting to jive with me. One of the main things it says is that we've lost the art of voice, of communication from one real human to another. See, corporations don't have voice - they just speak in dumbed-down, politically correct, washed-through-legal-a-hundred-times speak. Just take a look at the next piece of corporate email you get - I know you'll be able to tell it's not a real person in a hearbeat. And why is that? Because humans write in a way that's not condusive to the staid, tried and true world of corporate marketing. What's worse, some of the most boring emails and copy have enough success to keep them going - regardless of what you send, some people are going to pick up on the deal and go for it, simply because it meets their needs at the time. Get a few of these folks together, and you've got enough ROI to rationalize what you're doing in the corporate world.
But let's step back for a moment. Can we do better? Can we make more of ourselves? Is it possible to be a solid, reliable company and yet actually make someone laugh with our corporate communications? Yes. I believe so. And to make you believe, I'm going to give you some examples:
- Columbia Sportswear
- Bawls Guarana
- Rockfish Restauraunts (A word of advice - sign up for their email list and you WILL get some great discounts)
- Tin Star, Inc.
- Starbucks, would you believe it? This is probably the biggest company with the best communication to its customers.
- Cartoon Network - yeah, these guys are just funny.
"I'm breaking the habit..."