Category Archives: communication

How 2 Creative Teenage Minds and Lil Wayne Proved that Newsletter and Email Marketing is Still PHAT

Mind 1 and Mind A aka Matt Schlicht and Mazyar "Mazy" Kazerooni

Meet Mind 1 and Mind A (a.k.a. Matt Schlicht and Mazyar “Mazy” Kazerooni)

Since they were 15 years old, they have been setting the Internet ablaze by creating memes and making stuff go viral via their enthusiasm, creativity and social media mastery.

They played a big part in helping Ustream grow from 5 employees to over 150 by doing things like streaming a dude playing Halo 3 for 72 hours straight and providing direct support for the Soulja Boy Ustream channel and then asking him to ask Bow Wow to consider switching from to Ustream (which he did.)

Lil Wayne Email Marketing Strategy

Meet Lil Wayne

Via Ustream, Mind 1 and Mind A met Lil Wayne and shortly afterwards helped him to attain over 30 Million Facebook Fans.

So what does all of this Social Media Thug Wizardry have to do with email marketing?

Recently, Matt and Mazy launched, an artist promotion [slash] fan management [slash] social media optimization [slash] multimedia publishing [slash] attention-getting app for Facebook, which includes, among other things, a Love button that fans can click if they want to receive email and other notifications when new tracks,  videos or events are shared by their favorite artists.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Aren’t Lil Wayne’s fans already notified by Facebook when he posts new songs and videos on the site?”

Well, yes, but when they click the Love button, the Facebook app is installed and their email address and other contact information is collected by the artist. This allows the artists to notify their fans inside or outside of Facebook about new material or events.

“Email travels over the walls of Facebook. Beyond the Twitterverse. Outside the circles of Google Plus. Email is a bridge between the variety of social media, networking, website, blog, forum, video, peer to peer and mobile platforms. It is the ubiquitous standard of messaging that links everyone and everything together — to include, as Lil Wayne’s marketing team seems to understand, the artist and his fans.” – Tom O’Leary Facebook Love button

When asked about the importance of the Love button on Facebook, Matt Schlicht said

“Artists have built up big fan bases but don’t have a lot of information on fans, not even their emails” – Matt Schlicht

So how much love is there?

According to an article published today in Forbes, quite a bit.

“The first day ran a campaign for Lil Wayne more than 100,000 people signed up, giving their name, email address, gender and other information.” – Tomio Geron

Talk about an effective email mailing list acquisition strategy.

That’s SICK (you know, in the good way.)

You can keep up with Mind 1 and Mind A on their blog, Creative Minds 1 and A

…And, YO! Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy and Bow Wow; HOLLA if you need some PHAT newsletter and email marketing software Yo!

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Bridging Your Offline and Online Environments

I spent some time at Village Books in Bellingham yesterday. It is a very popular local, independent bookstore; a place where the hours slip by easily. They also have a very well managed online and social media presence. Their offline and online brand is solid.

Online, they use Facebook very effectively to announce events at the bookstore, promote authors, provide incentives to get people to visit and initiate conversations for book lovers.

village books facebook

Similarly, on Twitter, they provide a consistent flow of topical, informative and entertaining dialog with their followers.

Village books twitter

They also have an informative, well written blog and regularly updated website and online store.

In short, they are really exploiting all online marketing channels to get people into their bookstore — and they are doing it with a personality that will certainly attract people to stop by and check them out.

They have created a bridge between the Internet and their offline presence in downtown Fairhaven and the traffic is, I’m sure, flowing.

Of course, it is also important to build that bridge for two-way access. I didn’t notice any @Villagebksbham banners or appliques on the front windows and I’m not sure if they put their Facebook profile address on their receipts. If they aren’t driving in-house traffic to the conversations that they are having online, they should.

A nice slogan for them (or any bookstore) would be “The plot thickens. Follow our story @Villagebksbham and

Are you building solid, two-way bridges between your offline and online environments?

If not, why not?

Even Great Email Fails Sometimes

Sometimes, you send an email campaign that communicates a truly valuable offer and it falls flat. At the bottom of your heart you know that, objectively, the offer was a compelling one. So why didn’t anyone respond? Well heck, I’ve tried to give things away on Freecycle and haven’t had luck.

Sometimes, there are forces between us and the people we are communicating with that just don’t line up. It could be the timing or the particular mood that a recipient is in at the time of delivery. It could be that there was an office party on the same day that your message was delivered and someone spilled wine on the mail server where your fabulous offer once glistened with hope and promise.

Sometimes, there is no good reason for rejection. It just happens.


Dr. Seuss got rejected too. One publisher said, “too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

A rejection letter for The Diary of Anne Frank said, “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was turned down so often that Beatrix Potter initially self-published it.

The editor of the San Francisco Examiner told Rudyard Kipling, “I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”

A rejection letter to Pierre Boulle about his “Bridge Over River Kwai” commented that [it was], “A very bad book.”

Emily Dickinson’s poems were ever published during her lifetime. A rejection early in her career remarked that her poems, “…are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and are generally devoid of true poetical qualities.”

George Orwell’s Animal Farm, was initially met with a rejection which said, “It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.”

So, keep on truckin’ — keep on writing and keep on communicating the value that you have to offer. Sure, it might meet rejection sometimes. In fact, it will.

But in time, it will be given the attention that it deserves.

Get Shorty with Your Emails

Are your email marketing campaigns keeping pace with modern times?

  1. Do your recipients have to wade through four paragraphs of information to get to the point? Too long, did not listen.
  2. Are you using language that could be found in an old Sears and Roebuck catalog? Be a l33t and  pimp your content — step up to the 21st century shorty.
  3. Are you still using Times New Roman 12pt? Light a fire on your font library n00b!
  4. Are you sending large file attachments with your messages? Get linky baby. Email is a bridge, not a billboard. Keep it light. Use links. Build bridges to your content.

You don’t have to get all gangsta with your emails. Keep it country if you want to. Just make sure that it’s current, active and in step with the times that we live in. Make your email jump out from the others by giving it a 21st century makeover.

large shorty