With the infiltration of Facebook “Like” buttons on millions of web pages – from blog posts to product descriptions – what about letting email subscribers like content as well? Email marketing service company MailChimp will soon release the Facebook “Like” feature, which embeds the Like button into mass marketing emails.
At first look, this new method of interaction and word-of-mouth branding seems to be just what online companies have ordered – a means to get email subscribers to engage and, in the process, bring more potential customers with them.
The question is, however, will consumers feel that their privacy is being violated at a more personal level?
The benefits of the Like button, and being able to track interaction, could provide some key information to companies. MailChimp says you’ll even get to track all the likeable clicks via stats reporting.
What remains to be seen is how all the recipients will view the branded button.
Let’s not forget:
Privacy is a concern to many. In recent months Facebook has been labeled as a major violator when it comes to so-called protection of our identities and actions we take on the web. Since the average consumer isn’t technical, and usually heeds the headlines, will he think that by opening the email, information about him has automatically been sent into cyberspace?
Email, for what it’s worth, is viewed as the more sacred and private element of being online. After all, people send “private” emails to others all the time, figuring that since it’s not posted on an actual web page, it’s fully protected. Those in-the-know understand the security risks of email alone, but just the same, online users don’t like spam. Will they perceive the integrated like button as a spamming tactic?
Some companies make exclusive offers to people who sign up for email alerts. Integrated buttons in these types of mailings may make customers feel less appreciated, since they’d be able to publicly share all those special offers.
Then, there’s folks like me, who primarily review email in text-only format. Companies have to give me good reason to load HTML content. Of course, I represent the lowest percentage of most companies’ target audience.
I’m very excited to see how the MailChimp feature works, tracks information and, most of all, puts users at ease.