On friday I did a mailing to all Mobile Viking customers. All 36000 of them, in three languages. I did that to announce the new tariff plan and data roaming, all good news.
At the end of the mailing, I mentioned and linked to our facebook and twitter account. That led to an almost immediate surge in members. Facebook was at about 8980, now it is at 9230. Twitter was at about 6200. We now have 6464 followers there.
All this by just mentioning it in a mailing. There were no contests, no promises, no “information you won’t get anywhere else”. There was one line that said: “hey, if you want to know more and be kept in the know, check out facebook and twitter”.
These are people who want to be informed, who want to interact. What Seth Godin so nicely described as “permission marketing”.
Of course these numbers are not the goal of the whole game. Social media is not a marketingtool, it’s several systems meant for communication that can also be used (or abused) for marketing and customer service. The line between use and abuse is sometimes rather vague. However, the knowledge that a significant part of our users wants to engage with us this way is very good news.
Another little thing I did with that mailing is the sender address. I put my own personal address at mobilevikings there. It’s chris at mobilevikings dot com btw. Mail me.
The result was hundreds of replies. A lot of compliments and cheers. Some questions by people confused about our offer. Several interesting suggestions and tips. (I specifically asked for that in the mail) A few interesting leads. And, several people who were experiencing problems but who hadn’t found the time or the way to our helpdesk. Of course, responding to an e-mail requires a far lower “investment”. You are not the one initiating the conversation, you use an existing one as an opener for something else.
Some people would think it silly of me to invite a total swamping of my inbox. But I have read every mail, replied to many and have added a few interesting ideas to the mental list. I have helped several people who had issues and who hadn’t (yet) contacted our helpdesk.
And let’s not forget the original purpose of the mailing. 36000 people were informed about our new products and changes.
Was what I did all that special? I don’t think so. But our customers seem to be rather happy with it.