Famous Last Words: I’ll Happily Pay for Email!
Recently, one of the greatest direct marketers—former Ogilvy partner Drayton Bird—let it be known that he was unsuccessful in reaching either myself or my wife, Peggy, by email.
The reason is obvious. I signed up for the Drayton Bird Blog that comes many times a week. Sometimes, if I'm not busy, I'll look at it. Usually, I delete it. For example, recently in my Yahoo! inbox was the following message:
From: Drayton Bird
Subject: What a toilet can teach you about copy
Clearly, this was for his e-list. If I get four of these a week from Drayton-including weekends-I delete most or all of them. I am busy and I don't like to put correspondence aside to read later. So how does Drayton reach me? Quite simply, he cannot with any certainty.
Nor can I reach him with any certainty, given the amount of free stuff in everybody's inbox-especially in webmail-based inboxes. Included are blinking ads, news, pop-up messages from strangers who want to connect, and the usual host of distractions that get in the way of finding the important stuff, prioritizing it and acting on it. I want a mailbox that brings me only the mail I care to see.
I'd be glad to let the junk, spam, PR proposals, fundraising efforts and all other miscellaneous crap accumulate in my Yahoo! inbox. Maybe I'll get to it, maybe I won't.
A Proposal to the USPS
Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry, is cornered with two options: execute a bold and successful turnaround or find a willing buyer. Sony also is on the ropes—stock plummeting with thousands of employees to be axed—because it has run out of ideas.
The same thing happened to the Post Office when the Internet started up. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and cashing in, the retro idiots at the USPS ignored it and went on gearing up for more and more snail mail. It's not too late for a USPS email start-up.