5 Things Flash Mobs Can Teach You About Email Marketing

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January 3, 2012

Flash mobs are unexpected, irresistible, and often historic if they go viral on You Tube. Chief Marketing Officers should aspire for the same traits in their email campaigns.

Harper’s Magazine’s editor Bill Wasik invented flash mobs as an experiment about social conformity and people wanting to be part of the next big thing. His first flash mob failed.  Abraham Lincoln said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

However, Wasik’s meticulously planned his second flash mob, which was held in 2003 in Macy’s Department store. It was a success with 130 mob participants. The engage email power of planning always brings better returns.

Here are five other ways flash mobs can inspire you to construct email campaigns that will be included in the 2012 next big thing list.

Grab Your Audiences Attention
Flash mob and email marketing similarities start with the person who leads the performance. The person who initiates the flash mob is the equivalent to the subject line of your email campaign. This pattern interrupt stops the busy shopper.  In your case the busy prospect scanning his email.  As he scans the various lines he stops at your message simply because your compelling subject line appeals to him.

Engage Them So They Stay With You

Once they click, your email message needs to engage them just as a flash mob moves into Act II of its performance. One way to engage is to be relevant by sending a message that matches the interest of your prospect. A retail shopper who buys socks, white v-neck tees and plaid boxers will engage with your sales reminder that those items are discounted this week. Personalizing your message to reflect their interests, needs, and wants indicates that you know them and increase your credibility to the shopper.  You are more engaging, or rather your message is engaging.

Be Brief, Be Real

An average flash mob dance is three to five minutes. Keep your message brief because the average person spends just 15-20 seconds reading an email.

To keep your prospect from clicking the delete button, make your message conversational rather than a blatant sales pitch.

Keep it Clean

Just as a flash mob keeps its performances G-rated, keep your email list scrubbed and in good hygiene. Good list hygiene includes removing lapsed addresses (disengaged prospects) that don’t respond to win-back campaigns. Also, use deliverability tools such as feedback loops, tracking delivery by domain, and scoring content to avoid looking “spammy”.

Keep your marketing messages and images in good taste, too. CornerBarPR.com got push back from its prospects when it emailed a subscriber solicitation for its online database with a seductive bartender on it. Though the campaign was supposed to play off the company’s bar tie-in, it didn’t win any customers among conservative PR circles.

There’s more to be learned from flash mobs to inspire better email marketing in 2012. Take 30-minutes during your lunch break to watch the 10 most viewed flash mobsof all time and let us know what you plan to apply in the New Year.

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