Dela Quist: “Without Email, Facebook Wouldn’t Exist”

Dela_Quist_130_143 Dela Quist is founder and CEO of Alchemy Worx, the largest UK agency with a 100% focus on email, he is a thought leader and one of the UK’s leading email marketing practitioners. He has pioneered research into the “Nudge Effect” of unopened email, and the surprising effectiveness of longer subject lines. His clients include Tesco, The Carphone Warehouse, Hilton Hotels and Lilly.

Dela will be among the keynote speakers at the upcoming Fusion Marketing Experience event on March 23rd, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.

Dela is considered a “thought disruptor” and describing him as provocative might be an understatement. Recently, I sat down with him for a chat about email and online marketing…

Email is the only channel which is not controlled by someone else

Dela doesn’t take many prisoners and when asked about the value of marketing via other channels such as Facebook, he certainly didn’t pull any punches! Some quotes and thoughts…

“Email is the only channel which is not controlled by someone else – it’s only controlled by the consumer. With every other channel you have to pay someone to reach those customers. We’re all excited that Facebook has 500 million users. Do you know why they have half a billion users? So they can charge you to reach them.

We’re all excited about Google search, but Google search is all about paying Google billions of dollars to reach people you already know because you have their email address.

TV is about paying a broadcaster a lot of money so you can reach their customers. So, with every other channel, the customer is owned by somebody. We’re excited about paying that person, we’re excited about paying Facebook, we’re excited about paying Twitter and we’re not excited about the fact that we can reach these people for nearly free if we do our job correctly.

All of those channels use email and the prime way of driving traffic back to them. Without email, Facebook wouldn’t exist because only a small percentage of Facebook’s customers are there every minute. The only thing which drives them is an (email) alert.

So my challenge regarding social and the excitement around it is this: We’re going to use our email list to drive our customers to a site that’s owned by someone else who is going to charge us to reach them in future.

Even if they don’t charge us to reach them because they’re on my fan page, guess who they’re going to be selling advertising on that fan page to? Your competitors! It seems to me that it’s a kind of suicide. I have these people on my list and I’m really excited to send them to my fan page where my competitors can reach them also. This doesn’t make sense to me.”

As I said: provocative. What do you think?


2 thoughts on “Dela Quist: “Without Email, Facebook Wouldn’t Exist””

  1. I don’t agree that the customer is the only one controlling the e-mail channel. ISPs and ESPs control it as well. And you definitely need to pay to reach customers via e-mail…

  2. Liz
    That is true, but that is a different point entirely and one that I feel equally passionate about.
    ISP’s and ESP’s exert some control over the gateway, but have a much harder job getting us to pay to access what we consider to be our own customer base because we perceive what they do as a kind of tax. Goodmail springs to mind

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