Does OpenID help or hurt email marketing?

Sophia I am very happy to introduce you to a new contributor to this blog. Her name is Sophia Aladenoye, she is an email marketing analyst at and calls herself a digital communications enthusiast.

Sophia currently blogs her thoughts, which tend to revolve around digital communications, human connectivity and authenticity here.

You can connect with her on Twitter here. In her first post, Sophia talks about OpenID and email marketing (something, I have to admit, I know nothing about, so all your comments and feedback are welcome!).

Lately, I have been really focusing on the evolution of OpenID and what it means for email marketing. 

I think many in the world of email marketing are still trying to wrap their minds around social media, which is sometimes frustrating, seeing how technological advances are happening faster and faster everyday. 

What is OpenID?

However, with something like OpenID, its ease and simplicity, all marketers are going to have to catch up and fast.

Before we go into the why, let’s determine what OpenID is.

Open ID (also, check out this link for more info) is basically a method for people to log into  a multitude of different trusted sites with the same trusted login — thereby lessening the amount of times you have to login to multiple sites and the amount of username/password combinations you have to remember. 

Does it sound awesome? Yes…especially since I like the idea of having one login to use wherever I go.

On the flip side, would I be lying if I said that it doesn’t worry me just a tad that all of my information, all of my data, all of my keystrokes can be tracked back to one ID specific to me? Yes, I would be lying. 

But you know what? I am sure that all of that information is available to someone already, if they cared to really look for it. Scary? Yep. Life as it currently exists? Yep.

What does OpenID mean for email marketing? 

Frankly, I cannot decide if it gives marketers a headache, or it solves a lot of data problems. If people have an OpenID and decide exactly what information is shared whenever they login into a site, what if they decide not to share anything at all, including their email address? 

What if the user doesn’t trust your site (or the OpenID on your site) and decides not to entrust your business with any personal information? You have now lost out on the opportunity to gain further insight into who the user is or worse, he or she left your site without any further interaction and you completely lost out on a potential customer.

Ooooorrrr…you could use OpenID to your benefit. If you add OpenID to your site, which could very well allow you access to a myriad of user data (of course with the user’s permission), you would then have a higher likelihood of sending more relevant messages to people. 

As for email marketing, OpenID would definitely make it so much easier for email marketers to get clear, correct information attached to a specific email address, which is always extremely valuable. 

So, I guess, in the end, OpenID is an overall win for email marketing.

At the very end though, the user just might win overall since she ultimately controls how/what portions of her data are shared and with whom. Yay for the user!

What are your thoughts?

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