The nice thing about expecting nothing from a company is that you are, occasionally, pleasantly surprised. I expect Google/YouTube to suck at marketing. It’s not in the core DNA. But here’s yet another example of a small, but enlightened shift in the way it communicates with casual “users” and seeks to transform them to “Partner” status.
Perhaps you’ve received such an e-mail as the one that follows, with a subject heading “Invitation to Earn Revenue From Your YouTube Videos.” Check this one out, and click “more” to see the earlier iteration of this communication (which referred to it as the “Partner” program and was more verbose).
Your YouTube account, x, might be eligible to earn revenue from the playbacks of your videos.
Making money from your videos is easy. Here’s how it works: First sign into your YouTube account. Then review and complete the steps outlined here: http://www.youtube.com/account_monetization.
If your account is enabled, we may place ads next to the videos you submit for monetization. You will earn a share of the revenue from the ads as long as you meet the program requirements.
Thanks and good luck!
The YouTube Team
Is this spam or real? It’s real, but always double check to see if the URL (not the graphics) are accurate. If it takes you to something like www.info.youtube.com or www.y0utube.com (zero as second letter), watch out!
Now let’s review the communication based on some of the criteria of “The Hamster Revolution” (book and training program on time management, taming info glut, making e-mail more efficient, and reclaiming time and life). I call it “The Gerbil Fighters,” because that’s how my brain works.
Does the subject header compel? Yes: it’s an “invitation” and the “what’s in it for me” is the third/fourth word: “earn revenue.” I might suggest that “revenue” is somewhat corporate, and cash/money could be more universally understood.
Is it clear from whom the message comes: Yes- it’s sent from an obnoxious “no-reply” address (I’d suggest a human, but can appreciate that it’s more practical to filter the person before triaging them to YouTube’s more expensive “Partner Support” people). Still, it’s from YouTube, its subject header mentions YouTube, and “your YouTube account” are the first words. It’s even signed by “YouTube Team.”
Does the opening clarify the purpose and benefit to recipient? Yes. It indicates the person may be “eligible” to “earn revenue.” Again I feel like the multi-level marketers, Nigerian spammers, “work from home” and white-paper hucksters have hijacked the connotation of “revenue.” I suppose you could say the same for “cash” or “income,” but it’s worth testing.
Does it provide unnecessary information, or omit anything important? It’s fairly lean and efficient. It conspicously chooses not to mention “Partner” which is brilliant and flawed. Since YouTube is extending its program beyond those who are familiar with the word “Partner,” it’s time not to assume the partner title is meaningful. However it’s confusing those who do know about the Partner program, and I’ve received some of these from confused YouTubers asking “is this an invitation to the Partner program?” I’d suggest dropping the word “monetization,” which is meaningless jargon at this phase, and instead reaffirm that this is the “partner” program– without placing emphasis on the term.
What’s it missing? It needs a personal touch so it doesn’t feel like spam, and so suggests the “cadre” of previous “Partner” invites (see below under “more”). I’d suggest using a simple video to further explain the program in layman terms, and help people understand something that appears difficult for many: you’re being invited to receive a percent of the advertising that appears aside your videos. It might need one of those Jurassic Park “how to make dinosaur” animations that make this crystal clear. “Hiya kids. When Mr. Clean pays YouTube to advertise on a video, YouTube shares some of that with the video creator!”
I’m being harsh, but this e-mail refinement gets a solid B plus or A minus, and is in many ways superior to the earlier version… what do you think?
Congratulations! We’ve reviewed your YouTube channel and think you’re a great candidate for the YouTube Partner Program.
Why become a partner?
- Become eligible for ad revenue sharing
- Create an enhanced channel with a Channel Banner
- Upload longer videos
- Receive customized support
To see some example partner channels, click here.
What you need to do next:
- Sign in to YouTube and click this link: http://www.youtube.com/
- Fill out the required information and submit. You will receive an email with instructions on the next steps to becoming a YouTube partner!
We are looking forward to having you on board!
All the best,
The YouTube Partner Support Team