I just recently noticed that I have over 10,000 email messages currently in my Hotmail inbox.  In doing a bit of unscientific analysis I’d say over 80% have never been opened, and close to 90% of all my messages are newsletters from brands, companies, charities and organizations that I have “opted-in” to.   I rarely open these and for some reason I have accepted the need to now “hunt” for critical messages from friends and family…” was my kids baseball game rained out tonight?”. “Did Aunt Sherry confirm her visit this summer?” Why I have accepted this inconvenience is for another day.  But I am determined now to change this.  I have been unsubscribing to these newsletters at a very high rate these last few weeks.  But the interesting thing is I opted in to all of these.  I want to hear from them.  But this weekly newsletter blast is not working for me anymore.  I know email marketing companies will disagree with me just like the phone book guys are still saying there is a market for their advertisers as well.  I can’t consume this much content.  I’m overwhelmed!

I am asking all of them to move to mobile – interact with me there. I carry my iPhone everywhere, and I’m finding myself hooked on companies that have implemented new and innovative methods of connecting with me.  Everyone talks about information overload.  Mobile with its always-on connectivity, location sensing technology, 2 way real time interactivity, and the ability to deliver new and unique experiences, knows where I am, what I am doing, and who I am, to deliver messages, breaking news, promotions and great deals at a time and in a way that is relevant and convenient for me to consume.  For example, I am now exclusively tied to CNN and my local TV news station WRAL for my news, not just because they have good mobile apps but because of their effective use of the push notification feature in Smartphones.  I now get alerted in a convenient and non- disrupted way whenever breaking news happens.   A great example was the mega millions lottery winners a few weeks ago.  Of course I joined the office pool.  We were so optimistic about winning that we had a time that we were all going to meet at the office on Saturday morning with our lawyer to go claim the prize.  We ended up with so many tickets I wasn’t going to stay up for the 11pm EDT drawing and try to match up the numbers with the results.  But when I woke up in the morning I tapped on my iPhone screen as I was making the coffee and saw a push notification that said a winning ticket was purchased in Baltimore.  I figured if I saw that a winning ticket was purchased in my hometown, Durham NC, I would have been motivated then to check all of my tickets.  20 minutes later another home screen notification arrived from CNN broadcasting that another ticket was purchased Illinois, and then an hour later another message about a third winner in Kansas.  This was a very effective way for me to follow the story without being overloaded with information not relevant to me. Other ways I could have followed the story online were much less convenient, like email…  even email via my iPhone I have to tap on screen, unlock phone, tap in security code, tap on email app client, wait for all of my emails to download and then search the inbox.  Or I could have been at my home PC continually refreshing the website or lottery homepage to see where the winners were coming in from.

The Smartphone provides many new ways to interact and communicate your brand messages, products and services to your customers. It’s amazing to me how many have still not moved with me over to mobile yet.  Well, back to my Hotmail account now to continue unsubscribing from a few more newsletters.