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Masters of Social, Masters of Email: Pinterest Understands the Purpose/Strength of the Medium

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Wha?! A post on Tuesday? Halloween is Friday, so I moved that post to today. Capiche?

Here’s the thing about websites: it’s easier to stay than to get there.

Let me rephase if that’s not clear. Once I’m looking at my Twitter feed, my most likely action is to stay and scroll for a while. When I’m over shopping for 2″x12″ lumber on as all bloggers are wont to do, Twitter is probably a top 50 next web-surfing stop but hardly the most likely.

In that context, getting me to the Twitter website becomes a key goal for the success of Twitter. But the same could be said of nearly any business website.

Good ol’ Pinterest
On that note, here’s another example form social. I hadn’t been to Pinterest for months. A lot of months. But the other day I did, in fact, return because I got this in my inbox.


Look closely at that email and ask yourself one question.

“Why didn’t pinterest just show me the pin in the first place?”

In other words, why didn’t I get this email instead?


The answer lies in a very simple, yet very important principle.

Task + Goal
Marketing is filled with tasks. And, as you guessed, this cycle starts with a task. In this case, I need to be alerted that my wife shared a specific piece of content with me.

Now, lets frame that task within my overarching goal. As I mentioned earlier, Pinterest’s success depends on me spending time on Pinterest. This is their goal.

In that scenario, it makes zero sense for Pinterest to try to accomplish this task alone when they can accomplish the task and the goal simultaneously.

The Reason
Returning to my original point, Pinterest also knows that it’s easier to keep someone on your website to get them there. And, because a website is where they earn their bread, it makes sense to get people there as much as possible.

The same could be said for resort websites. I feel like sometimes we accomplish marketing tasks (like delivering a powder alert) on other media (social, inbox, etc.) where the next step (checking another message/post) takes them away from your goals instead of toward them. So Pinterest accomplishes all their tasks on the same place they accomplish their goals, using their marketing to move people rather than finish the job.

Following suit might be worth some thought.

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