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SCOOP: Ben & Jerry’s responds to claims that they will drop email marketing

SCOOP: Ben & Jerry’s responds to claims that they will drop email marketing

*Originally posted: Jul 19, 2010 @ 14:03

I scream! You scream! We all scream for clarity!

One email, a blog post from HubSpot and hundreds and hundreds of tweets later and it seems few people bothered to actually ask Ben & Jerry’s what their actual plan regarding email marketing was…until now.

Ben & Jerry's to Drop Email Marketing in Favor of Social

What an amazing concept, drop the PR people @ Ben & Jerry’s an email and ask them! Isn’t email just the most amazing information tool ever?

Here’s the reply from their PR Director, Sean Greenwood, which should clear up the massive confusion which has arisen since HubSpot first posted about this whole thing:

“In general, I think it’s a bit of a misunderstanding.  The announcement came from our UK team, who was basically sharing that they planned to reach out to their fans via social media moving forward.  I think they wanted to alleviate any fears from fans who previously received a newsletter style email to think that they had somehow fallen off the list.  I believe they’re still keeping email as a venue for special events/opportunities as they mentioned they might still reach out via email.

Again, this was a note from our UK team.  I believe the rest of the Ben & Jerry’s folks around the globe (including us here at the HQ in Vermont who support the U.S. and the globe) are planning to continue to use: email, social media, text messaging, augmented reality, snail mail, vanilla guerrilla marketing, grassroots Social Mission endeavors, sky writers, deep-sea divers and of course… scoop trucks on the road.”

– Sean Greenwood, Ben & Jerry’s

So, according to Sean, the email that so many people seized on as proof that Ben & Jerry’s was dropping email marketing was actually a proactive move on their U.K. group’s part to reassure their subscribers (who obviously want to communicate with Ben & Jerry’s) that they hadn’t been removed from their subscriber list!

Here’s the original Ben & Jerry’s U.K. email which started the whole thing! (Thanks to Laura Dinneen!)

The Ben & Jerry's UK Email which started the Rumours

The discussion this past week via email, blogs and Twitter has been more political than practical. Fueled almost entirely by at best wishful thinking and even, personal agendas. Keep this in mind the next time you see some tweet or blog post predicting the imminent death of something. That way we can all avoid brain freeze.

Oh and don’t forget to sign up for the Ben & Jerry’s email newsletter here!

Leave a Comment for Your Chance to Win Free Ice Cream!

Just to show their love for email, Ben & Jerry’s is giving us some free pint coupons to give away! Just leave a comment about what flavour you like best and why and we’ll pick some of the best and send the author a fee pint coupon!

Bonus points to those commenting who also tweet this story using the auto-tweetme link!

Now that’s cool!

Takeaway: Don’t believe everything you read with out doing some homework.

email
  • Profile:  Jeff Ginsberg has 17+ years’ experience and is an industry known authority on email marketing who gets in the trenches with clients and helps them fulfill their marketing objectives, increase revenue and brand engagement. Clients rely on him and his team at The eMail Company to provide them with expertise from strategy to technology and from campaign management to channel integration. Jeff has worked with clients across all spectrums in the financial, automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods space. His experience covers both B2B and B2C markets. He has a strong background in educating and training agencies and clients about email best practices and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing tools and vendor selection. While Jeff’s team may be small, they know how to solve BIG email marketing problems. Looking for help with your next campaign? Don’t be afraid to give him a call – Jeff and his team ready to help you today. Give me a call: Toll Free: 877-We-eMail (877-933-6245) Local: 416-225-7711 eMail: jeff@theemailcompany.com
  • Website:  http://www.theemailguide.com
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/theemailguide
  • LinkedIn:   http://ca.linkedin.com/in/chiefemailofficer
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Comments

53 Responses to “SCOOP: Ben & Jerry’s responds to claims that they will drop email marketing”
  1. Bernie Folan says:

    It’s been really interesting following this story, it’s made me think hard about my preferences and how email is still my surefire way to ‘get’ a message as I dip in and out of social media according to time pressures.
    That may well change though. It’s also made me aware of the Ben and Jerrys twitter feed etc which I’ll be checking out.
    I haven’t tried Fairly Nuts yet so I’ll use my coupon for that!

    • Jim Ducharme says:

      Hi Bernie,

      The truth is that any interaction between humans is social. The platform simply doesn’t matter. One isn’t better than the other, it’s simply a matter of preference. Find out what your customers want and how they want it then give it to them.

      Email and social each have their own strengths and part of our mission here is to highlight how well they work together.

      Regards,
      jim

  2. Ashley says:

    Nice to hear what’s up straight from the horse’s… er, cow’s mouth. :o) My fav flavor is Uncanny Cashew (mmm, cashews and caramel!). Unfortunately, I believe that flavor has been retired. In its place, I’d have to say I’m pretty fond of the Chocolate Fudge Brownie Froyo. Nom nom nom, without as much guilt.

  3. Thanks for breaking the story on the truth behind Ben and Jerry’s comments on email marketing. It made for interesting reading….check out our blog: ‘Ben & Jerry’s email marketing bluff: The calm after the storm in a teacup?
    http://blog.infouk.com/infogroupuk/emailmarketing/ben-jerry%e2%80%99s-email-marketing-bluff-the-calm-after-the-storm-in-a-teacup/

    • Oh…I forgot…and my favorite flavour is Phish food…yummmmm! I love the marshmallowy bits! :))

    • Jim Ducharme says:

      And thank you for your great post about the whole tempest in a teapot which resulted! It’s great to see so many bloggers coming at this from different perspectives and especially good to see so many now trying to clear up any misinformation which resulted from the initial news.

      Regards,
      jim

  4. Tammy Vanden Heuvel says:

    Phish Food of course – love the little “phish” floating around in my ice cream. Yummy. It’s interesting how the UK is moving the majority of their marketing to social versus email marketing. Doesn’t email marketing help drive membership and followers to their social media? Overall I think the two deserve a balanced mix use and not a heavily weighted mix.

  5. Bobbie K. says:

    I love phish food and chunky monkey. I mean, with a name like chunky monkey and phish food, what’s not to love? I can eat an entire pint by myself! Yummee!

  6. Love the investigative reporting. Thanks for researching this and clarifying the moo-ve.

  7. Bobbie K. says:

    I love phish food and chunky monkey! I mean, with a name like chunky monkey, what’s not to love! I can eat an entire pint by myself! Yummee! :)

  8. Terri says:

    Chunk mail – love it!

    Got to have my Chunky Monkey. What’s not to love: chocolate, bananas and monkey’s three of my favorite things.

  9. Terri says:

    Chunk mail ~ love it!

    Got to have my Chunky Money. What’s not to love: chocolate, bananas and monkey’s three of my favorite things.

  10. Len Shneyder says:

    Chubby Hubby… the chocolate covered pretzels are an alchemical concoction that makes me happy in ways that elevate me to a higher state of consciousness, or alternatively leave my brain numb and worry free…

    But all that aside, I’m ok with the B&J’s UK office move to focus on social media. We’re not talking about the eradication of all email, this is not some radicalized move. They clearly state that they will continue to leverage the email channel but I think it’s a good experiment and since this is only one branch of the overall B&J structure it can’t really hurt.

    Let’s face it, just because they are going to send less email doesn’t mean that people will nuke their from address from their address books. Whenever they want to jump back into the email world they will still have their fans and recipients. Social media isn’t a one way street with no hope of return. If they see an upside to focussing their marketing efforts on the social realm, well I say more power to them and write a good case study on your successes or failures and the effort will not be for naught!

    my $0.02

    -L

    • Jim Ducharme says:

      Well said Len!

      For me (as I stated) the issue has been the way this has been used as some kind of political pool noodle to beat out people’s own agendas on this — it’s vindication for social etc.

      DJ Waldo of Blue Sky Factory is dead on when he simply points out that the best way is to offer your customers a choice of communication. Let them wear the shoes they are comfortable with and put the shoe horn away.

      Regards,
      jim

      • Len Shneyder says:

        Agreed and I think individual preference is the absolute best approach, but I’m just slightly amazed, bewildered and baffled by the response to running an experiment. Aren’t we supposed to constantly re-invent what we do and how we do it? Seems to me like you can’t go wrong, it’s not like social is a desolate waste land. eeeeeh… much ado about nothing. I say stir fry their noodles, politics or otherwise!

        Best,
        -L

        • Jim Ducharme says:

          LOL +1 Len!

          The initial emotional reaction among all of us was enlightening to be sure. I suspect the good folks at B&Js are probably taking a look at communications (I hope) to examine how they handled this one.

          They’ll learn from it, we’ll learn from it and it’s all good. We fall down so we can learn to stand up.

          Regards,
          jim

  11. half baked froyo!

    less fat, all the flavor – and DAMN, I love those cookie and brownie chunks :-P

  12. Jordan Cohen says:

    Even if B&J’s is only dropping their regular email newsletter in the UK, it’s still a mistake if the intent of the UK mktg team is to grow customers’ social participation on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

    Email is the gateway to social media, and a well executed email program can be one of the biggest drivers of a brand’s social media growth. I blogged in greater length about B&J’s “email dump” here: http://blog.pontiflex.com/2010/07/19/say-it-aint-so-ben-jerrys-drops-email-for-social/

    For the record, my favorite B&J’s ice cream is Chunky Monkey – if I win, please send my free pint directly to Brooklyn :-)

    Best regards,
    Jordan Cohen
    VP of Business Development, Pontiflex
    @jordancohenpr

  13. I’m a big fan of Ben and Jerry’s marketing so am on their email list (here in the uK). If you haven’t seen it, the email which caused such a stir is here:

    http://www.benjerry.co.uk/newsletter/128/?mtk=939

    “A little cownfession – it was too hard to say goodbye to our e-mools altogether, so we’ll still send you the odd email on special occasions.”

    They’re not saying goodbye to their e-mooools altogether!!

    Laura

    • Jim Ducharme says:

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks for the link! I’ve added the NL to the post! Really appreciate you taking time to help us get the whole story out to the community!

      Regards,
      jim

  14. Geeta says:

    Ha! Thanks for clearing that up Ben and Jerrys. My email marketing soul and the one that loves B&J was at war over the weekend. What a relief. Can I have some cookie dough icecream now? nom nom…

  15. It’s not any particular flavour that puts a smile on my face, it’s my kids reaction when they pass the Ben & Jerry’s display in a store!

  16. Coffee Heath Bar Crunch or Peanut Butter Cup….oh my!

  17. Jim Ducharme says:

    Tragically, I’m not eligible for this contest, but I would just like to say that “Turtle Soup” changed my life.

    Regards,
    jim

  18. Ghosty Kips says:

    “Scoop Shop” Vanilla Fudge Chip. I’m diabetic, and can’t have ice cream nearly as much as I’d like – or hardly at all! So this ‘no sugar added’ flavor lets me enjoy a little B&J when otherwise I couldn’t. Please make more flavors this way!

  19. Dan Frydman says:

    I’m wondering if that offer is available for us here in the UK – where we’re enlightened enough to appreciate Social Media as the main channel for communication, but also like our ice cream. Oh, and it’s likely to be 500ml (nearly a pint) so perhaps we get short-changed after all…

    • Jim Ducharme says:

      Hi Dan,

      I think we’re enlightened enough to appreciate that what really counts is communicating with your customers in the way which suits them best. In my experience that has been via a combination of channels for marketing.

      Good point on the pint – just a turn of phrase really;).

      To my knowledge the coupons are good in the UK as well. So, what’s your fav flav and why?

      Regards,
      jim

    • sean says:

      D-Fryd, I think our U.S. B&J pints come in at 473ml. Could it be that you’re not getting short changed at all? Don’t even get me started on beer and Imperial Pints!

      – Sean, Grand Poobah

  20. The best flavor of Ben & Jerrys must be “Media Mixed” and not just “Social Ice”. The great taste is all in the mix!

  21. Phish Food is my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor. You really need me to tell you why? It’s yummy: the chocolatey goodness, the candies “floating,” the fudge … Oh, it’s the best.

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  1. […] going to stop sending emails to customers in lieu of Social Media. While Ben and Jerry’s were quick to respond that they would continue with an integrated approach of email and social, some people’s […]

  2. […] our friends at The Email Guide did what many of us should have done: ask them whether it was true. While they were dropping it in […]

  3. […] Ben & Jerry’s recently dropped its email marketing program in the UK to concentrate solely on social media promotions. […]

  4. […] Since then we’ve come to find out that this is actually the plan for Ben & Jerry’s UK division, and that the U.S. marketing team is still implementing email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy and goals. Public Relations Director Sean Greenwood cleared up the confusion with this statement. […]

  5. […] Editor’s note: We broke the story of how Ben & Jerry’s was not dropping email world wide. You can read it here. […]

  6. […] Jim Ducharme пишет: Len Shneyder says: 2010/07/21 at 9:45 am. Chubby Hubby… the chocolate covered pretzels are an alchemical concoction that makes me happy in ways that elevate me to a higher state of consciousness, or alternatively leave my brain numb and … probably taking a look at communications (I hope) to examine how they handled this one. They’ll learn from it, we’ll learn from it and it’s all good. We fall down so we can learn to stand up. Regards, jim. Reply · George Adamidis says: … […]

  7. […] ago we broke the story that contrary to a post @ HubSpot, Ben & Jerry’s was not going to cease using email […]

  8. […] meant for their U.K audience- you can read the response from the folks at Ben & Jerry’s here) which sparked a huge Twitter, Facebook, blog response from marketers weighing in on the subject. […]

  9. […] did a little Googley search and guess what I found? The smarties over at The Email Guide spoke with Ben & Jerry’s PR folks directly who said …: In general, I think it’s a bit of a misunderstanding.  The announcement came from our UK team, […]

  10. […] me to let us know some yummy ice cream coupons are on the way so, if you haven’t left a comment for your chance to win some, you should do it […]

  11. […] this week was stimulating with the Ben & Jerry’s evolving story and our breaking it wide open with the first statement right from the cow’s mouth! No grass is growing beneath our feet here @ The eMail […]

  12. […] per E-Mail um eine kurze Stellungnahme bat. Die amüsante und zugleich illuminierende Antwort kam prompt: (…) I believe they’re still keeping email as a venue for special events/opportunities as […]

  13. […] – Sean Greenwood, Ben & Jerry’s [Source for Sean's comments are from Jim Dasharme's theemailguide.com] […]

  14. […] Since then we’ve come to find out that this is actually the plan for Ben & Jerry’s UK division, and that the U.S. marketing team is still implementing email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy and goals.  Public Relations Director Sean Greenwood cleared up the confusion with this statement. […]

  15. […] scanning the Twitterverse today, I came across this post from The Email Guide, some good chaps that used a picture we recently took for one of their newsletters. They did what I […]

  16. […] In case you aren’t aware of it yet, the email marketing industry is abuzz over Ben and Jerry’s decision to drop email marketing as a major strategy over in the UK. Check out the Email Guide’s scoop on the issue here. […]

  17. […] the time to email the PR folks at Ben & Jerry’s. Here’s what their PR Director, Sean Greenwood, had to say – personally, I don’t think it changes the story […]

  18. […] marketing buzz leads off with a cornucopia of insight from email marketing industry insiders on Ben & Jerry’s recent announcement in the U.K. regarding their email marketing plans. The amazing DJ Waldow of Blue Sky Factory, has polled some […]

  19. […] with email, professional email marketing No Comments We have just been notified by the  folks at theemailguide.com that Ben & Jerry will continue to use email marketing in the USA but the UK division […]

  20. […] Jerry’s email marketing plans is finally dying down since we now have it straight from the cow’s mouth that they have no intention to drop email marketing. I urge you to do your best to address this and correct the misinformation from the past week via […]



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