January 1, 2011, 12:00 AM

End of E-mail?

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You can choose to contact everyone who Likes your page, or you can target based on location, gender or age. This can be a great way to ensure that fans see content you think is relevant to them, without relying on the news feed or status update portions of a consumer’s Facebook page, which can be quite cluttered.

Lowe’s recently created a Gift-a-thon event and sent a message to fans letting them know that the home improvement retailer would be offering special items up to 90% off Dec. 1-19.

And don’t forget about mobile. Once a user signs up for text messages, she can choose specific friends or Facebook pages she wants to get status updates from. Ask fans to add your page under their mobile preferences where it asks whose status updates (friends or pages) should go to a mobile phone. Consumers open text messages at a high rate, so this can be an effective way to reach fans when they’re not sitting in front of their computers—and could be near your store.

So, while there is uncertainty about exactly how consumer adoption of Facebook Messages will affect marketers, change is nothing new in interactive marketing. Just as e-mail marketing was once the great unknown, social media marketing is now changing the landscape. As long as marketers make relevance their goal, consumers will respond, regardless of the channel. l By clicking the Expand button in the top right corner, Facebook viewers of this Pottery Barn e-mail can make this HTML message fully clickable with trackable links.

Laura Saati is vice president, Global Retail Practice, e-Dialog, a division of GSI Commerce Inc. She works with leading retailers to help them optimize the value of their customer relationships through interactive channels. She can be reached at lsaati@e-dialog.com.

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