There has been a lot of talk about Facebook’s email system over the last couple months and a few organizations have even gone as far to say that it’s going to kill off Gmail. While there hasn’t been a real major breakthrough in trusted email systems since Gmail was released, Facebook’s email system probably won’t make Gmail obsolete any time soon, but it is going to be something to watch for a few different reasons.
One question being tossed around is how will Facebook email change email marketing? It’s a good question to ask since many businesses utilize Facebook for marketing purposes and now those that they market to on this social media platform may also be getting their email through the same system. What also has to be questioned is whether Facebook email is going to help email marketing efforts or if it’s going to hinder the ability for companies to reach their target audience via email. Let’s explore a few topics surround this issue so that the bigger picture can be brought to light.
One way that Facebook email might help email marketing is when a consumer on Facebook already follows you or your company and they visit your website or where ever you have your opt in form set up. Consumers just don’t want to provide their email address to any old company without at least having an idea about the type of information they’re going to be getting if they decide to opt in. If a consumer already follows you on Facebook, then they’re going to be able to get an idea of what they might be receiving since they can see your posts, links and other content that you post on Facebook.
Along the same lines, it’s hard to form trust on the Internet, especially when it’s between a consumer and a business. Businesses that take part in unethical practices such as spamming have turned the average consumer away from providing their details online to most businesses because they believe that if one business did the wrong thing, then other businesses may practice the same techniques. If a consumer already follows you on Facebook however, they may be more apt to provide their email details if they feel your company is legit and that they could be receiving valuable information from you.
A Starting Point
When you post things on Facebook, it can create a conversation and interactions between you and potential customers. While this one isn’t directly related to the email system itself, you can take the conversations, thoughts and ideas that are generated from your Facebook interactions and turn them into emails that you send out to your list.
One of the problems associated with Facebook email is that users have the option to use it and they have the option not to use it. It hasn’t been out long enough to really gage how many of Facebook’s users have decided to use the email service as a main way of receiving communications, but until numbers are known, you wouldn’t really be sure how large of a market you’re going after if you decide to target Facebook email users.
Opt In Rules
One of the most important things that needs to be remembered is that email marketing rules and spam rules still apply. It doesn’t matter if a person has an @facebook email address or if they’re using another email provider for communication. Even if someone follows you on Facebook, it doesn’t mean that you can email them with offers or other solicitation unless they opt in to it. This is also why it’s a good idea to have an opt in form right on your Facebook page
Privacy issues have always been a concern to Facebook users. From hard to read privacy policies to difficult to understand privacy settings, not everyone is on board in believing that Facebook takes user’s privacy seriously. Due to this, some people will never use a Facebook email address, especially if they already feel like they’ve been wronged in the past.
If you email market, it’s best to continue the same strategies that have worked for you regardless of whether Facebook now has an email system or not. Facebook email isn’t going to change email marketing in any huge way, but Facebook in general does continue to pave the way with some very powerful Internet marketing tools.