This week Facebook will begin giving marketers the ability to collect email address from users of our Facebook applications. This is welcome news and opens up a world of possibilities for creating integrated programs that leverage the strengths of each channel to drive business objectives and richer customer experiences. Currently, applications communicate with users through Facebook notifications – a constrained inbox with few opportunities for meaningful direct communications and limited opportunities for monetization. After Wednesday, marketers will have the ability to make email permission optional, or a mandatory requirement of an application, and may no longer post notifications from applications. This development opens up an exciting new way for Facebook marketers to interact with and ultimately monetize social audiences.
An example of the optional prompt:
Facbook will be supporting this change by encouraging users to share their email addresses with applications, and will be posting dialog boxes like the one below on every canvas page a user visits for their first three sessions.
On the Developer wiki, Facebook clearly articulates the policies senders must adhere to:
a. You must not give or sell users’ email addresses to any third party or affiliate.
b. You must comply with the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act and all other applicable spam laws (e.g., provide a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism and honor opt-out requests within 10 days).
d. Emails you send must clearly indicate that they are from you and must not appear to be from Facebook or anyone else. For example, you must not include Facebook logos or brand assets in your emails, and you must not mention Facebook in the subject line, “from” line, or body header.
e. All emails to users must originate from the same domain, and you must provide us with the name of that domain in the Facebook Developer application used to manage your application.
As we kick off 2010, it’s hard to argue that the most exciting force in the email marketing space is the rapid adoption of social networks and the opportunities that exist for those who are able to develop truly integrated programs. Much has been written in this blog about social media, and though virtually everyone is excited by the possibilities, most of us are still in the relatively early phases of determining the best strategies and tactics for our programs. Few in the space can point to quantifiable success stories. This development gives social marketers a powerful, proven tool for engaging and monetizing audiences, and I look forward to seeing how we capitalize on the opportunity.
Read more on the Facebook Developer Wiki and please comment below or reach out to me directly to continue the conversation – 2010 is going to be a big one for email [the original and largest social network].
– Nicholas Einstein
Director of Strategic & Analytic Services