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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  The Inbox Economy

The Inbox Economy

Posted on July 30, 2002 and read 13,433 times

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My inbox has just reached 1 gigabyte. I guess that allows me to prophesize about the topic of e-mailing in the ad business.

You see, I strongly believe that the economy is tightly connected to your “reply” button. So far, following my ‘algorithm’, this economy is not doing very hot, and I want to talk to you about it.

In Canada, people don’t answer e-mails.

(What’s this guy talking about? I do!)

Nope buddy. Sorry to break it to you. You don’t. And I believe I now have the authority to inform you about it. On an average ihaveanidea day I send about 100 emails out there. Some are regarding interviews, others giving or asking advice, some for PR, hey I even write to congratulate people if I like their work.

This might not be very scientific, but for every 10 emails I send to the US, or Europe, or anywhere else for that matter, I usually get around 9 replies back. I am not talking about e-mails to juniors—I am talking to people that appear in Comm Arts, writers of the NY Times and Creative Directors in L.A. Many times they even call me back instead of replying.

For every 10 e-mails I send in Canada, If I am lucky, I get 1 back (many times with a negative answer.)

You might not realize this, but the global economy—at least the western one—now runs electronically. People no longer like to make phone calls or meet in person.

They e-mail.

It makes sense, it’s easy, it’s democratic, it’s fun. icon smile The Inbox Economy

It can be dangerous too. Perhaps it is customary here to not answer back—but to the rest of the world it is the equivalent of hanging up the phone as you call, not answering a letter, or closing the door on your face.

If you are the type that only answers “the important” ones, beware. Oh! You are stepping in boobytraps my friend.

A couple of months back I was talking to Virginia Magaletta, Director of Ogilvy Interactive and she told me that she had been to an art related website she really liked (for practically let’s say it’s your web portfolio or the website of your company). She liked it so much she wrote to them telling them she liked the work, not from her e-mail account, but from her hotmail.

The guy was a jerk; a total asshole. He wrote back a rude answer that was the equivalent of “shut up”. What is ironic is that he was a struggling designer of some sort who wasn’t aware that the director of the interactive arm of one of the world’s most important agencies was writing to him. Big mistake.

If you have no time to write back. Then say you can’t write back. It’s common courtesy. It’s efficient. It’s Public Relations. An e-mail can have a butterfly effect you know? A starving student sends you an email, you never answer, he writes to somebody else, they answer, the kid is Bernbach II, their agency grows, yours files bankruptcy, you are out of a job, the bank takes your house, your wife leaves you, your dog bites you.

Just “Reply”… it’s that easy.

We are in the communications business. Think about it. If every single creative director, copywriter, art director and account executive in Canada wrote back to their emails I absolutely assure you that our industry would be doing MUCH better.

Come on champ. Be a sport and click on reply. It’s for the best!

Ignacio Oreamuno




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