Embracing Opt-In is as important for businesses as it is for end users.

Warning: This post is like a 3-hour slow-burn Scandanavian drama flick that could have just as well been a 1 hour TV show.  But, you’ll enjoy it anyway as I tell a few interesting professional stories and arrive a the point where I’m promoting my current product 🙂


As a former US Marine, I pride myself in being affiliated with the best of the best.

I started my career at Andersen Consulting (“AC”), n.k.a. Accenture.  AC was considered ONE of the best, if not THE best, large scale systems integrators.  Ignore the scenes of fresh 22-year-old college grads rolling up to your office to tell you how to do your job and run your business.  In addition to all of the acne, they have access to whatever Accenture now calls their Knowledge Exchange. That alone justifies the $2,000 / day billing rate for the kids fresh out of diapers, circa 1993.  Oh, and it’s a blended rate.

From AC, I went on to BEA Systems as a founding member of the Asia Pacific team hired into Thailand as employee #1.  I still have the purple tee shirt showcasing the original and very ugly corporate logo.  BEA was considered one of the best middleware companies in the solar system.  However, the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 forced me to transition from an employee to a BEA distributor in Thailand. After the transition, I never lost a single competitive deal even against IBM at IBM’s largest clients.  In fact, those seemed to be the easiest to win.

The most interesting deal that I ever did as BEA’s distributor was an $8M deal with a Thai phone company that took 6 weeks from the initial cold call until the deal check cleared.  BEA’s cut was $1,800,000M and my cut was $6,200,000.  That’s $6,200,000 of pure profit.  I could have burnt it in the street and not hurt my little operation.  Until this day, BEA still doesn’t know how good I had it.  And, the competing BEA partner who was trying to strongarm me out of the deal, AMDOCS, still has no idea how I outmaneuvered their every move and ensured that they got $0.00 of the infrastructure part of the deal.

One of my enterprise clients didn’t know how good I had it either.  In a deal with them (one of Thailand’s largest banks) I convinced them after many nauseating rounds of negotiations that they had finally backed me into losses but I was still willing to proceed because of WHO THEY WERE.  Making them feel special is a must.  While they gloated and high-fived each other and promised me future deals to make up for this loss, I smiled with the knowledge that I was giving them a great deal while maintaining 78% gross margins that translated into $3,000,000 of pure profit.  That wasn’t a bad haul given that my office had 8 staff and a fully loaded annual operating cost of $300,000.  Again, I let BEA have their peanuts…about $1,000,000 on a $4,000,000 deal.

I know that some of you from BEA seeing this on LinkedIn are like “WTF?”  And, if you’re that Thai bank customer remembering back to consoling me on my losses…I’m really sorry!  The brand new Ferrari Spyder handled very nicely.

AC and BEA were the only two career employers I’ve ever had, 4.5 years and 1 year respectively.

You’re probably wondering why I am going through all of this just to tell you about opt-in/opt-out and why it’s important.  Honestly, I have no idea.  But it is a meandering and honest walk through part of my professional history that just might be masquerading as a lead-in.  If you’re still with me, it means that I have something interesting to say.

Since 1998, I’ve been on my own with the goal of, as AC used to say, “Helping my clients change to be more successful”.  These days, my clients are golf courses, apartment buildings, schools, cities, restaurants, etc…virtually any and every kind of business of any shape or size.  My clients still include large corporates.

One of the ways I am trying to help my clients change to be more successful is by helping them establish trusted and efficient communications between them and their end-users. This is not easy because social media and the plethora of apps have nearly ruined it for everyone.  B2C communication has gotten harder and more complex, not easier.

And, if Zuck doesn’t like what your business is selling, how you’re selling it or what joke you told when you were 16, he and his very unhappy minions will put you in timeout.

Let’s face it, social media is no place for business because it (social media) was built by rich kids for poor kids so that poor kids can pretend to be rich kids…while those poor kids work as unpaid content developers who are then monetized by the rich kids.

And don’t even start acting surprised.  Everyone knows this.

Moreover, if you’re a bakery trying to get some traction on social media for your 487 layer croissant (Gordon Ramsey’s croissants only have 217 layers), good luck competing with someone else’s police-chase post for the 1.6 seconds you get in a typical scroll.  After you get 2 likes and 4 shares of your masterpiece, what’s your next move?  Are you going to boost it so that you can make Zuck even richer?  Email?  SMS?  LOL.

Basically, if you’re any kind of business, how do you effectively communicate with everyone in a trusting, respectful way while making it impossible for trolls to take over the conversation?  Trolls and the Community Review Tribunals prevalent on social media rule out social media as an effective communication tool for business.  And by trusting and respectful, I am referring to sending meaningful messages to the right people in the right language at the right time and doing so in a non-spammy way.  And from the audience’s point of view, a meaningful message is from a place you trust with a message that you want to read in your comfort language.  Generally, this is not happening today.

I prefer to have open communications that are always under the watchful eye of the people reading the messages, the recipients.  People should always be free to change the channel.  The channel doesn’t need to be changed by some snot-nozed brat with a humanities degree who thinks that he/she/zhe needs to protect you.  Awe!

One important lesson that I learned from my time representing BEA is the concept of openness and portability.  BEA prided itself on being open and allowing projects built on their technologies to be as portable as possible to other, competing technologies and platforms.  As we used to tell our clients:  “Our open portability forces us to be on our best behavior.”  If the cost to transition away is near zero, then one must always be on the A-game.  This is the complete opposite of the insidious behavior of most large corporations who will do everything to lock you into their proprietary, and in many cases, monopolistic garbage.

I’ve embedded this philosophy into our NotifyMe platform by making it easy for subscribers to opt-out of offending notification types rather than leave the place altogether.  NotifyMe is an open platform supporting many notification types where businesses create their accounts in 1 minute and subscribers install the app and get going in seconds.  Once the communication channel is established, businesses create their posts (we call them notifications) like they do on social media and the audiences receive those notifications automatically in their comfort language.

This philosophy ensures that once places start communicating with their audiences, a balance is kept and audiences don’t need to completely flee to avoid the onslaught of a run-away author.  If your local pizza shop on NotifyMe (who you adore because they have great pizzas, great events and awesome deals) offends you with too many polls or raffle notifications, you can simply opt-out of those two notification types and keep the events and deals coming through.

In the screenshots above, I received different notification types from different places.  These are real places that are using NotifyMe.  They’ve written their notifications in Thai and I am receiving them in English because my phone is set to English.  If I don’t like these types of notifications, I can easily mute them temporarily or indefinitely while still maintaining a trusting relationship with each of these places.

If they continue to misbehave, I can mark their notifications as “Inappropriate” and break my relationship with them.

On top of this opt-in / opt-out feature, NotifyMe boasts many other incredible bits of functionality.

CRM – NotifyMe has a robust CRM feature that grows in functionality every day.  Using our CRM, you can collect a dynamic set of data regarding your audience including notes that you collect about each audience member as well as their interactions with your business.

Digital Membership Cards – As a business with traditional membership cards made of plastic, why are you still using them?  It’s almost 2021.  And, as an individual wandering around with a wallet stuffed full of membership cards, why are you not demanding a change?

With NotifyMe, you as a business can enable Membership Cards for any group and instantly activate them.  Each member has their own unique QR code for easy identification.  As an app user, all of my various membership cards can be maintained in the DMC wallet in the app.  Throw the plastic away.

Analytics – Why are you trying to understand your communication effectiveness when you’re communicating across 10 different channels?  With NotifyMe, you know instantly how well your notification was received and whether people are reading the attached PDF, scrolling through images or watching your embedded video.  Where else do you get that?

Segmentation – NotifyMe comes with a segmentation capability that we call Groups. Simply put your audience into groups and you can then send notifications to groups, individuals, groups of groups or any combination and collect other metrics regarding your groups.

Teams – If you’re a large organization with many different groups that have their communication needs and priorities, use our Team feature that comes complete with roles and permissions so that you can ensure that

Proximity Beacons – We have integrated proximity beacons into the NotifyMe platform so that you can deliver notifications when very accurate locations are important.







Affordable – You get all of this for the price of bulk SMS.


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