A Theory of Microns
We are now ready for a framework to better understand the world of microns.
- A micron is a single short email which is sent as part of a subscription to a micron channel
- A micron channel is what subscribers opt-in to. A channel consists of two or more microns.
- Microns follow a pub-sub model: there is a publisher and a subscriber. The publisher is the brand, the micron creator. The subscriber makes an explicit decision to opt-in (subscribe) to receive microns.
- A subscription is an active relationship between publisher and subscriber. When the subscription ends either because of the recipient’s decision to opt-out (unsubscribe) or because of the micron sequence getting exhausted, the subscription is rendered inactive and the relationship is terminated. Publishers cannot send any further microns to subscribers after this.
- Micron channels can be of two types
- Infinite series which can be live (instant publish, like news or alerts) or scheduled daily fresh (which are not time-sensitive like quotes or factoids); in all cases, the same micron is sent to everyone as a broadcast
- Finite series which are part of a serial feed where a recipient starts with the first in the sequence; this means different subscribers could be receiving different microns; so this is more of a customcast (or a personcast) rather than a broadcast
- Infinite series microns are activated to keep alive a relationship
- Communicating with the long tail of customers: these are the ‘Rest Customers’ who can be nudged to the next purchase in a non-pushy manner – with a mix of information linked with their interests and suggestions on what to buy/read/view next
- Targeting the inactive email database who may not want promotional content on a daily basis but would be open to receiving informational content and thus getting brand exposure
- Finite series microns are activated because of a moment
- Product-linked: pre-purchase persuasion, post-purchase engagement
- Visit-linked: Connecting with unknown customers, Interacting with anonymous visitors
- Microns can be measured with three metrics: T, R, S (for time, reproduction factor and subscriptions)
Microns can thus open up a new, unexplored world for marketers – long-term relationship building with informational content, going beyond the transactional and promotional mails with a focus on branding, and leveraging moments to trigger short-duration enriching engagements.