The three beliefs that define our product

Howdy! I’m Eric. Together with Eric Shelkie, I work on Emetti. The two of us built products like Officehours, Campnab, and Telgard. The things we make are small—but purposeful. Emetti will be, too.

Emetti is a humble newsfeed/changelog-as-a-service. This is only the beginning, though. For our first post on the Emetti blog we’d like to share our beliefs. These relate to a change we envision in how companies will communicate online.

1. Your website comes first

“Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!”

Many companies use social media as their primary way of interacting with customers. This is because social media is easy to use and offers a built in audience. The downside is also notable: Your website gets ignored. You fail to update it, you lose organic traffic, and people stop visiting.

It’s time to put the growth of your website—and business—ahead of feeding social networks. This involves rethinking your entire digital strategy. Your marketing plan must focus on attracting people to your website. Once you have, you need to keep their interest. This won’t be easy, but it’s essential.

Once you shift this thinking, you’ll become sensitive to the state of your website. You’ll start see what works, where it’s weak, and how you might fix those issues. From here out, every marketing effort starts on your website. Social media becomes a supporting tool for reaching new eyeballs.

2. You must own your list

“God knows I want to break free”

On a related point: “your” audience? I hate to break this to you, but it isn’t yours. When you put all your effort into growing your social following, you handed your list to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. The consequence? Someone else controls your means of communicating with your customers.

The cost of leasing access to your customers is non-trivial. Now, you must pay to reach your own audience. Even when you do, your posts get lost in a firehose of activity. Meanwhile, bogus metrics give you a false sense of ROI—which is quite often negligible. Your leased list is neither direct, nor portable. Social networks will not allow you to move your audience to other tools/platforms.

The solution is to own your own list (more about this here) and de-prioritize social media marketing. This means creating a subscriber database you own outright. Doing so lets you to engage with your audience as you wish. It also allows you to prioritize existing customers through relationship marketing.

This change lets you regain control of how your company communicates with customers. It also allows you to move to the technology of your choice. The first step: Find a means of creating your own list. Then create incentives and CTAs. Place these on all your social channels, so you can redirect followers to your list and website.

3. Your site should act like an app

“Domo arigato…”

A lot of websites are relics from another time. They’re built like brochures, and fail to offer the functionality users desire. This is a problem of our own making. We put too much energy into walled gardens—instead of investing in our own tools.

Your lacklustre website leads users to bypass it entirely, and instead go to your Facebook page. There’s nothing that says it needs to be this way, though. We just need to evolve our thinking around websites. They are not static information stores. They can be as functional as any social network or application. This is not a matter of ability, it comes down to desire.

Build your website around functions that suit your customer’s needs. Instead of a PDF menu, your restaurant’s website should allow me to place an order. Your accounting firm’s website should let me to send tax files digitally. Your bank website should suggest when it’s a good time to lock in my mortgage rate. Too complex? Fine—but at least allow me to comment within your site, access customer service immediately, and get access to support docs.

Your new website should be as functional, responsive, and alive feeling as any app or social network. The first step is to determine what your customers come to your website for—and how you can rethink it around these needs.

The above might sound a bit general. In fact, you might wonder if these recommendations have anything to do with our product. Fair enough. The above beliefs are bigger than what we’re building. So, consider how you can apply these notions, even if you have no interest in our product.

Meanwhile, these beliefs do inform what we’re building. Our tool (and later tools) allow you to put your website first, gain control of your list, and integrate app-like functionality. Curious about Emetti? Get your name on our beta list, and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for you.