Ben & Jerry’s drops email in favour of social media

Ben & Jerry’s will become one of the first big brands to abandon regular email marketing. It will instead focus on social media.

The ice cream brand has decided to cut its monthly newsletter because the feedback it received from customers suggested that the majority would prefer to be contacted on social media sites.

Email marketing has long been established as one of the most effective digital marketing channels and has become a standard marketing channel for most brands.

In a move away from established practice, Ben & Jerry’s plans only one email update to customers each year. Instead, Facebook and Twitter profiles will be used to engage with customers on an ongoing basis, both in-house and through its PR agency Mischief.

Vicky Willis, Ben & Jerry’s senior brand manager, said it wanted to focus on building relationships with customers and that it sees social media as the best channel for this.

“Developing friendship and a relationship is key for us and social media is the best place for that,” said Willis.

Ben & Jerry’s put out a final email newsletter to customers last week , prompting them to instead connect with the brand on Twitter and Facebook. Since then, Willis said the company had received mainly positive feedback on the decision.

Felix Velarde, managing director of eCRM and digital agency Underwired, said, “There are fairly compelling arguments for focusing on social platforms but perhaps only for younger people who do not use email in the same way as older people do. To switch off a channel that is used by large swathes of people seems premature.”

This story first appeared on

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