I follow Seth Godin’s blog. Yesterday’s post titled, “Friction Saves the Medium” talked about friction in communications. If the friction is stripped away, if it becomes too easy to communicate, then that method of communication will be overused and abused, and it will fall out of use.
Email is that way. Email marketers became spammers and now email marketing is regulated by law. Twitter is the latest incarnation of frictionless communications, and to prove Seth’s point, the Twitter monthly retention rate is below 50%. Seth says that stamps are underrated, and friction rewards intent and creates scarcity. In other words, few people will take the time to write a letter and mail it, so those that do will stand out as exceptional. If you run a business, you want to be exceptional in your customers’ eyes.
There are other ways to use friction. A month or so ago, my wife ordered a music CD from MyTexasMusic.com to get the latest release from our friend, Mike Blakely. When she unwrapped the CD from the cardboard mailer, there was a hand-written note inside the mailer thanking us for ordering. Sure there was a little friction involved in writing that note, but what a pleasant surprise and what a great way of expressing appreciation to customers.
I think Seth is right. Although we want to make use of emails, Twitter, texting, and the other frictionless methods of communication, we also need to remember to use a pen or a stamp now and then — even in building online word of mouth. Be exceptional to your customers, and contact me if I can help you get started!
- “Please Complain” by Seth Godin (houstontexasseo.com)
- Getting Weird With Seth Godin (onesocialmedia.com)
- “Just Because He’s Angry” – Seth Godin (business-ratings-reviews.com)
- Frictionless makes sharing meaningless (maven.wordpress.com)
- This is why you’re not Seth Godin. (businessesgrow.com)
- The Friction in Frictionless Sharing (nick.typepad.com)