Facebook Connect – Good or bad for email marketers?

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Facebook Connect is a tool that allows you to login into a website using your Facebook account rather than go through a whole new registration process for each site.

This gives website developers some fantastic benefits:

  • An easy to remember login and simple registration process
  • Access to basic demographic information on each person
  • Greater potential for viral and referrer activity among the users friends
  • Ability to recommend purchases based upon their friends activity

Now this all gets people excited about what they can achieve by making content richer, but there is a major downside. Facebook hides all contact information, so effectively there are no options to ‘push’ messages in order to establish a relationship after a customer has been on the site.

This is the sort of talk that leads to people coming out with the over-used and tiresome cliché, “The death of email”. A simple solution for organisations is to require an email address as a well as a Facebook login, on sites where the push capability is important.

The future of Email Marketing and Facebook Connect?

So what is the future of email looking like if we can use Facebook Connect to enhance messaging?

  • What have your friends purchased or recommended this week? A new alternative of tailored content versus traditional segmentation which is based upon the individual, not their friend’s activity.
  • More efficient and effective “tell a friend” which could actually mean none of these out of date viral emails but simple posts to Facebook walls instead
  • Triggered messages around new friends signing up and encouraging the existing friend to do the relationship building for you, as opposed to a standard email based welcome programme (or indeed in addition to)

As with all social media ideas these are initial ideas on the back of a beermat that over time will become more thought out and tested by the market. Let us see what is happening this time next year and I’m willing to bet that Facebook Connect will not be a bad thing for email at all.

About Craig Loynes

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP. Connect with +Craig Loynes on Google+ or follow on for more email marketing insights.