When I answered a question on Twitter the last thing I expected was to get a free book in the post, but then social media is all about being social and iContact really went the extra mile.
In case you’ve never heard of iContact, they provide the tools you need to setup and manage professional email marketing lists of all sizes. Email lists can be an awesome way of keeping in touch with your fans, customers or anyone else who wants to hear from you regularly and iContact are just one company who enable you to do this (you might like our article ‘Do You Need An Email List?’ if you’re looking for info on email marketing).
A few weeks ago, iContact asked the following question on Twitter:
Good Monday morning! If you had to give someone one tip about email marketing, what would it be?
— iContact (@iContact) January 7, 2013
Now, I don’t consider myself an authority on email marketing, but I did have one piece of advice that I thought might be useful and so i replied:
@icontact Make sure your emails are mobile friendly; a larger percentage of people are accessing their emails via them.
— Hyder Khalil (@ArmshouseGroup) January 7, 2013
A little while later I got a reply asking me to send a DM (Direct Message) with our postal address so that we could be sent “a little something”. At this point I’ll admit that my initial assumption was that I might receive some marketing bumph from iContact in the form of a case study or some other glossy literature advocating the use of email marketing, but I’ve always had good experiences with iContact, so gave them the address anyway.
I’d pretty much forgotten about it all until an envelope appeared on my desk with a ‘Vocus’ label on it (I believe that Vocus acquired iContact sometime last year). The corner of the envelope was torn and I could see the edge of a book poking out. Again with the assumptions, I figured OK… New year, they’ve sent me an iContact diary (which I would have been happy with also), but to my genuine surprise, it was in fact a copy of ‘Marketing In The Round’ by Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston.
The book title itself is not what’s important. The fact that someone had taken the trouble to post this book to me (from the USA no less) for no other reason than I replied to a Tweet reminded me that this is what social media is all about; being social.
Sell Without Selling
In a prior article ‘Three Mistakes Many Performers Make On Social Media’, I suggested that one mistake was that people often focus on selling or promoting themselves too much instead of making connections with their followers. What iContact have shown is that you can do things to make people sit up and take note without being so ‘in your face’ about it.
Maybe you don’t have the budget that iContact do and can’t afford to send out free books to your followers around the world, but you don’t have to. Engage with people, show them the personality behind your brand or business and they will be your fans for life.
We don’t have an account with iContact, but we’ve used their platform a lot, setup some of our clients and recommended them often. Thanks to our little something in the post you can bet that we’ll continue to do so – which is more than any glossy brochure could have convinced us to do.