As dates go, the fourth of September is quite monumental. It’s six years to the day since I stepped on American soil for the first time and four years to the day since I got spliced (yes, that means it’s my anniversary).
Today also sees my mum coming to America for the first time. In fact, this is the first time she’s stepped outside the British Isles and only the second time she’s ever flown. The first time involved some twin-propeller affair on a trip to the Isle of Man – a curious little island between Britain and Ireland that has its own parliament, no traffic lights, cats with no tails and is a low tax economy. Offshore banking anyone?
Although, I’d rather have her here asking me daft questions every half hour rather than ringing me constantly asking how much money she should bring and how she should split her travellers checks and cash in her fanny pack. Should she bring a coat? Should she bring me a coat? Do I want her to bring any cheese/chocolate/HP Sauce/Branston Pickle [delete as applicable].
But this Saturday’s phone call using her very own grandchildren as pawns in a game of Christmas emotional blackmail, really took the biscuit. My mother is something of a Christmas extremist. Her year revolves around it and its planning and execution. Military campaigns have been run much, much worse. And, after finding out Steph might be working over Christmas, and her thinking this meant we won’t be going to Blighty for the festive season sparked ‘Operation Festive Goose’.
My eldest two nephews and niece, aged eight, six and three respectively (I think) spent the night at my mum’s on Saturday. After returning from a truly entertaining shopping expedition with my dear wife, we had a message on our phone. It basically consisted of each of them saying hi, telling us they loved us, and how they can’t wait to see us at Christmas. It would’ve been cute; almost heart-rending had you not been able to hear my mother’s prompting in the background and the hum of a cattle prod to remind them not to stray too far from the script.
So, if two weeks of decent cooking, cleaning, getting somebody to iron my shirts and 24/7 emotional blackmail wasn’t exciting enough, today also sees the inaugural get together of the young professionals group for the Ohio Valley, OVConnect.org. The emphasis here is on the young (under forty). I suppose the professional aspect means having a job as opposed to being adept at something. I’ve known a few professional slackers in my time if truth be told.
It’s a group to keep young professional types in the loop and to help keep them connected with one another whether they’re native to the area or newcomers. The response so far seems to have been brilliant, and is testimony, yet again, to Justin’s organizational gusto. Where he gets the time and energy I’ve no idea, but I get tired thinking about half the stuff he does. Still, that’s what comes with me nearly being at the cut-off age. I can almost see a little implant in my palm flashing along the lines of Logan’s Run.
But, it just goes to show that offline networking is still alive and well. And this is the point, us youngsters might spend all our time messing about online, but it’s only because it’s an extremely cost effective method of keeping connected. For example, sending out a simple email invite to everyone didn’t cost a bean and only took the time of writing the one and sending it to everybody’s email address. In the good old days you’d have to ring round everybody, either at work or at home, and waste an inordinate amount of time doing so.
Email is simply priceless in this day and age of organizing and informing groups or customers. Here are just some of the benefits of email marketing according to good ol’ wikipedia:
- The advantage of a mailing list is clearly the ability to
- Compared to other media investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, it is less expensive.
- An exact return on investment
“track to basket”) and has proven to be high when done
- It is instant, as opposed to a mailed advertisement, an email arrives in a few seconds or minutes.
- It lets the advertiser “push” the message to its audience, as opposed to a website that waits for customers to come in.
- It is easy to track. An advertiser can track users via web bugs, bounce messages, un-subscribes, read-receipts, click throughs etc. These can be used to meaure open rates , positive or negative responses, correlate sales with marketing.
- Advertisers can generate repeat business affordably and automatically
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who
- Over half of Internet users check or send email on a typical day.
- Specific types of interaction with messages can trigger other messages to be automatically delivered.
- Specific types of interaction with messages can trigger other
- Green – email marketing is paper-free
And the great thing? You can’t hear anybody in the background telling you what to say even if you do get somebody else to do it for you.