Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Web 2.0 & Notification Emails (or what bugs me about Evite)

With the fun social events of the holiday season comes the annoyance that is Evite. They’re an old company that has cornered the event and calendar market. Their notification emails, though, remind me of 2004. Basically, early Web2.0 sites tend to send “teaser” notification emails, to make you log back into the site. They don’t tell you the basic information (where/when/who) in the email. Yes, it forces you to log into the site, laden with advertising. Unfortunately for me, I am always forgetting my password, it doesn’t cache right, or I’ve been invited by another obscure email address. These are examples of Evite’s information-free invitations:

(2106 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom


(2106 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom

What prevents them from including the information? I’m guessing getting higher traffic on site and services. If they did post the relevant logistics, people would still click through to RSVP or view other attendees. These informal holiday events highlight the increasing importance of putting relevant information in the above-the-fold area of the email, and in the inbox (not in a link out to a site.) Especially not to a link outside the site that requires a password. Some savvy hosts include the logistics by hand. And evite emails those logistics once you RSVP that you are attending. Still questionable practices, in my mind.

You could argue that the centralization of information on a web site is easier for users than in an email account. I would contend that having information in both places is best- both on the site and searchable, and in the inbox and searchable (and ideally in the subject line).

Not to only pick on Evite, Friendster, another granddaddy of the social networking world also does this annoying teasing thing:

(2106 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom

(Why do I refuse to turn on images? Because I test this feature a lot. And it’s good to let companies know, if they’re reading this, that a lot of their audience sees their emails with images off.)

Sites That Do It Right
Qwitter gives you the guts in the email!

Gmail - RizzoTees (RizzoTees) is no longer following your updates on Twitter -

.. and WordPress comments:

Gmail - [Adventures in Email Marketing] Please moderate:

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Written on Monday, 24. November 2008 at 13:40 In the category social networks, transactional emails. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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  1. Anna,

    I am counting on you to come up with an alt to evite.

    Yes, have tried sendomatic but very kludgey and on nobody’s white list. There’s another one, shoot, starts with P… but as noted in our previous thread about open-rates, few click. Ugly evite seems to get through somehow, despite its annoying weirdness … but UGH.

    I am setting up a Facebook event page but it too is annoying!

    Thanks, as always, for your savvy.

    Comment: sarah browne – 03. December 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  2. Aie, I know. Good to hear about the ones you’ve run across. Someone did push me to, an alternative for evite, and socializr has been trying for a while to be an alternative. I think it’s about our inbox, and address book, and how we really just don’t like other apps to grab onto those precious friend’s email addresses! Facebook events, here I go. There’s just so many people not on it and I don’t want to push them, as it’s a nostalgia timesuck!

    Comment: banane – 05. December 2008 @ 1:52 pm

  3. Hi, I’m one of the founder of Anyvite. Thanks Banane for mentioning us in your comment!

    Our emails include all of the event details, and we’re about ready to push out an update that will pack them with even more information including the ability to RSVP right from the email. If you have a chance, check out There’s a feedback tab on the left side of the page in case you have any questions or comments!

    Comment: Dan Morin – 05. December 2008 @ 6:09 pm

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