Oliver Nassar

I can be reached at onassar@gmail.com.

For my open source work, check out github.com/onassar

Idea: Email action through texting

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Alright, this will apparently become another blog post series.

But I think it's a cool one. And it's being named Ideas.

Anyway, I was talking with a friend today, and he had an idea of doing some guerilla marketing. He wanted to get people to his site, and thought about printing some photos with his site address on the back (or somewhere), and leaving them all around the city (Toronto).

I started to think about the barriers to getting people to a website, from the source of a domain on the back of a card, and wondered how that could be eased.

Came up with this:
On the back of the photo, instead of it saying "visit me at ..", it says something like:

send your email to 555-55, get some photos emailed to you.

If a person sends that text, they immediately get a reply back thanking them, and informing them that an email has been sent to them with the site address, a picture, and possibly, a notification that they've been signed up for a newsletter.

The Theory

Texting is a less obtrusive communication medium. If you have a site posted on the back of a photo, yes, they may open it on their phone. But I wouldn't. If they do open it, maybe they remember it later on, maybe they don't. But that experience is then over.

Keep in mind that this is conditional on the person having a smartphone, and data, and is engaged enough to do so immediately.

Texting, on the other hand, feels less obtrusive, even if only psychologically. Additionally, it allows for a more personal experience. Namely, to have an email sent to the person. It could include a thank you message, a cute photo, a personal message from the "author" of the experience, etc.

It'll also be waiting there for them, later on, when they check their email. They'll have a copy of that correspondence, and can do what they like with it (eg. forward it, save it, even reply to it and have it go back to the "author"). I think it's an idea that's worth prototyping with Twilio.

Myself, I want to find an excuse to use it.
I'm hoping that means it's practical for others.

Let's find out :)

Update (Thursday, 14 June, 2012)

Have a dashboard/panel for the creator to access all the emails, view if confirmed, date texted, date confirmed, email, remove, etc.