Tragedy struck the state of West Virginia yesterday afternoon. Not tragedy like a bridge collapsing and killing 40 people instantly, tragedy like a popular football coach leaving to go to Michigan.
Yesterday as I was half-watching the Steelers game yesterday while hanging wreaths, an announcement scrolled across the bottom of the screen on a ticker usually reserved for school cancellations or Presidents being shot. WTRF announced shortly before ESPN got onto it that Rich Rod (as WVU’s football coach Rich Rodriguez is popularly known) was bolting for the University of Michigan. Check out the WVMountaineerSports.com blog (where I stole appropriated that picture from) for a taste of fan reaction as long as profanity doesn’t offend your eyes. Remember that people are NOT in a good mood. By the way, I’m voting for the Boise St. head coach as the next head coach in their poll – not that I think that’s what necessarily will happen, but what I’d like to see. Who do you think should / will be the next coach?
This is bad news for West Virginians, who generally hold WVU athletics fairly sacred – even those of us who went to another school or have never stepped foot into a higher education facility (or attended courses online – gotta love distance learning!). Rich Rod was very close to getting WVU into the national championship game. To put that in perspective, the Mountaineers have never won a national football championship (or any team national championship outside of rifle shooting, I believe) and, in fact, are the winningest program never to have done so.
Email to the People
So unless you’re a Marshall fan, this was big news. So big that the governor has already put out 2 related emails in response. I’m not sure what that says about our state and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but if you want to read more about the good things in WV, I encourage you to check out the Create WV and A Better West Virginia blogs for a couple perspectives.
But there is one good thing that the actual sending of the emails says about our state – we’re using a really powerful piece of technology effectively. Sure, email’s been around for awhile, but it is THE single most underutilized piece of technology in the business world.
I received two messages from our Governor:
Dec. 16, 5:49 PM (or within 3 hours of the announcement and more than 12 hours before the official press conference) – Statement from the Governor regarding WVU Football Coach Rich Rodriguez’s resignation
Dec. 17, 12:05 PM – Governor encourages Mountaineers fans to attend Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2
See the very bottom of this post for full texts.
How incredible is it that the governor can hear something, write an email, and send it out to concerned citizens within a matter of hours or minutes? The power of email. Sign up for your notifications at his official Web site.
The only thing I’d offer up as a suggestion is that I’m very interested in general announcements, those that affect business, and ones like this, but less so in announcements about holiday parties. All that can be done fairly simply through segmentation.
We’re Open for Business
Mr. Manchin, if you’re tracking your stats and reading this post, you should know that we offer email campaign systems that offer list segmentation (allowing people to receive only the messages they care about) while not breaking the collective banks of you, me, my business, and all of our other fine tax paying citizens and institutions. Plus we’re a registered state contractor. I’ll bring this up the next time we chat.
For everyone not named Joe Manchin, III, we offer a lot of internet marketing services that can help business make money and sometimes save money as well for your organization, too.The best value may be email marketing as it almost always does both and incredibly effectively at a very low price point.
A Quick Note about Buying & Renting Email Lists
To be clear, I don’t believe in buying email lists (if they’re selling them to you, chances are the addresses are garbage and that you’re in violation of can-spam) or renting them (in about 90% of cases – sometimes this can be effective).Utilizing recommendations or advertisements on outside email newsletter lists can offer great rewards, however.But the best application for existing businesses is to email to your own subscribers.
Real World Examples of Email Campaign Systems
Let me give you two real world examples from among our clients:
1. An industrial manufacturer. They were spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on catalogs to send to their clients and prospects in printing and mailing costs. They sought an email campaign system primarily save on costs. When they found out they could customize their lists in order to easily send out only relevant messages, they knew they could increase revenue, too. All at no cost per email sent.
2. A non-profit arts group.While this group has a member list that skews older than many other types of organizations, they recognized younger members all relied on email and that many of the older members were starting to use it, too.While their mailing costs for monthly newsletters wasn’t high, they had no practical way of targeting folks.Now they can jump right in to sending out emails to their list at no cost per time sent, all in a standard, attractive format.
Again, even though email’s been around for a long time, it’s still under- or improperly used by many businesses.
If you don’t have a big subscriber base, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a new organization or a 100-year-old firm, start collecting emails today. Give people a reason to submit their email addresses (important news, money saving coupons, product updates, etc.) and start collecting. You can begin sending out basic text messages through Thunderbird, Outlook, or whatever email client you use. As your list grows, you’ll know the power of email marketing and you can easily transition into a new system or service.
My two biggest recommendations for traditional organizations not heavy into Web sites or internet marketing: start putting your Web site on everything (business cards, advertisements, newsletters, email signatures, hold messages, etc. – heck get it tattooed on your forehead) and collect email addresses. Email lists could quickly become your most valuable piece of property if you nurture it right.
Dec. 16, 2007
STATEMENT FROM THE GOVERNOR
REGARDING WVU FOOTBALL COACH RICH RODRIGUEZ’S RESIGNATION
Contact: Lara Ramsburg, 304-558-2000
The last seven years that Rich Rodriguez has been football coach at West Virginia University brought great excitement to our fans and tremendous and positive notoriety to our state, and I am truly sad that he has made the decision to move on.
I have known Rich for most of his life, from a boy whose only wish was to play football at WVU to a young man whose only wish was to coach at WVU. His dreams came true, and he brought back with him to West Virginia a love and a loyalty for our state that I thought would never change.
But, unfortunately, over the last two years, I have seen Rich become a victim of a college coaching system driven by high-priced agents that has turned those dreams into just another back-room business deal. Something is wrong with the profession of college coaching today when a leader’s word is no longer his bond, and it does not bode well for the student-athletes who entrust these coaches with their futures.
I wish Rich and his family nothing but the best, but I challenge everyone in our state and across this country to start looking more closely at the system that we’ve allowed these agents to create, because in the end, it serves no one well but them.
I can’t say enough about the WVU fans and financial boosters who have made such tremendous commitments to this football team, and I commend President Garrison and Athletic Director Ed Pastilong for having a program that is truly worthy of the national spotlight.I also trust them and the WVU Board of Governors completely with the coaching search that now lies ahead.
In the meantime, I encourage the people and fans of West Virginia to continue to show their support and respect for our tremendous student-athletes as they prepare to compete in front of a national audience in the Fiesta Bowl.
– Gov. Joe Manchin III
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Dec. 17, 2007
GOVERNOR ENCOURAGES MOUNTAINEER FANS
TO ATTEND FIESTA BOWL ON JAN. 2
Contact: Lara Ramsburg, 304-558-2000
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – With many good seats still available as part of WVU’s official allotment for the Fiesta Bowl, Gov. Joe Manchin is encouraging every West Virginian who is able to buy a ticket and attend the game in support of the Mountaineer team to please do so.
“These student-athletes have given so much to our state, and we need to join together and encourage and support them in every way possible,” Manchin said. “They are competing in one of the most elite and well-respected bowls in the country in front of a national television audience, and I believe that selling every ticket allotted to WVU and being there in person to cheer them on is one very special way that we can say thank you to them for all of the excitement and prestige that they have brought to West Virginia this football season.
“So, let’s join together and show these fine young men our true Mountaineer spirit by selling out the game and filling the stadium with blue and gold.”
Tickets may be purchased by calling the Mountaineer Ticket Office at 1-800-WVU-GAME or online at www.WVUGame.com.
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