Email May Not Be Sexy, But It Is Intimate

Writing on {grow} (the blog of Schaefer Marketing Solutions), surfer and self-help author and speaker, Srinivas Rao, rates various social media channels for intimacy. According to Rao, “the key really to ‘having mad game’ when it comes to connecting with people in the blogosphere is being able to understand each platform according to its level of intimacy.”

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most intimate, Rao gives a Twitter a 1. He argues, “Twitter in many ways is where relationships start and are sustained, but it’s not where they are deepened.” Rao goes on to rate blogs, email and Facebook 3, 5 and 7 respectively. “Facebook in many ways allows people to put together the story of who you are as a person,” Rao reasons.

AdPulp, of course, is active in all of the above channels, with email being our weakest channel by far. After six plus years with no email newsletter, we managed to send our first, and so far only, newsletter in January to 57 recipients. Since then a dozen more people have signed up (see the sidebar if you’d like to sign up now).

I do recognize that email is, in fact, an intimate channel–in fact, I’d reverse Rao’s ratings and give email a 7 and Facebook a 5. Here’s my question with creating content for email…what can we offer to this group of readers that they can’t get from us elsewhere? I realize a lot of email newsletters, like RSS subscriptions, simply deliver the blog’s offerings via email. But that’s not a path I want to take. I look at every channel as having intrinsic value and its own rulebook. We do one thing on Facebook and another thing here and on Twitter.

As a aside, I recently created a paid email newsletter that I send out to friends once a week, typically on the weekend. I don’t discuss advertising therein, but I do discuss culture which is source material for advertising. And you can get to know me better there, if that’s something you care about.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.