What’s Your Inbox Worth?

“It’s free, we just need your email address.”

We’ve all seen and heard this offer made. Something like a whitepaper, or ebook, or service is free – but it will cost us our email.

It’s time marketers recognize that email addresses have value. We already know they have value to us, as marketers, or we wouldn’t ask for them. We ask for them because we are going to use them for something. We’ll either sell them to a third-party, or use them to stay in touch with those customers and try to sell them something later.

But we completely ignore the fact that email addresses have value to the person giving them up. Getting permission to enter their inbox is worth something.

Recognize that exchanging an email address is a transaction, just like exchanging money.

So what?

  • Make sure you offer enough reason to get that permission
  • Make sure your reason is clearly explained
  • Make sure you deliver on any promises you make as they relate to the customer’s email address
  • Continue to earn your right to their inbox over time (because access can be turned off anytime)

Email addresses are not free. It’s time we stop treating them like they are.