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Mar 18, 2009


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It's difficult to envision email marketing surviving for much longer in it's present form.
Moving from the push to a collaboration process such as RSS has seen slow adaptation.
Retailers are businesses,not IT and may not have the knowledge to implement RRS effectively, they will have to outsource and the consuming public must be convinced that RSS is just as effective.
No one needed convincing about the effectiveness of Twitter as corporations and everyone is using it.
It will be intersesting to see how it will all unfold


Great post. I agree with your analysis as well. The only thing I think is that, most of these marketing approaches are more like "push" approach as oppose to "pull".

It would be nice if businesses can empower their customers by providing them information on what they are looking for (online). I tend to buy from a business that provide some kind of awareness about the product I am thinking of purchasing.

Besides, I think businesses should start adopting RSS so that customers can just subscribe to topics of their interest as oppose to pushing things on their throat.

I still see the future with:

RSS Newsletter
Blogs in general (not just twitter)
online news releases
Giveaways (we love free stuffs)
and more


Hi Tamara

Starting from your sentence: "you need to have permission and you need to provide value"

I see a major difference between email marketing and what the new paradigm is.

The core of "viral"/wpm marketing is that instead of seeking permission from the person that will receive the message, you try to get it from either his/her friend or influencers.


Email List Provider

Yes, email marketing have very good future. In other type of marketing you can target only one customer or audience. But in email marketing you can target multiple audience at a time.


I would call it: communicating, in a way your public wants. Being there where your people is!

It's scaring to see not so many companies realize "it's time" to change their approach!


With the seemingly unlimited supply of ad displays, email marketing (and all that it encompasses as mentioned in this blog) will have a future. You know the marketing is reaching the end user. But it is one part of the mix and not the whole solution. Regardless, ROI is everything. How do you get the most bang for your marketing dollar. Cost per lead, cost per engagement, cost per action will lead the way.


This is really very interesting blog.. my answer is Yes, Email marketing have future. Number of internet users are increasing and one person is having multiple email id's, even mailing service providers are increasing too. There are top email list providing companies who keep on updates new email id's in there database. They provides various kind of email lists which will be well opted. There will be 1.8 million email users by end of 2012. So i think Email Marketing have bright future.


Great post, Tamara.

I agree with you and Stephanie that whatever the future of email marketing holds, it still needs to be relevant, engage, and provide value to the consumer.

Duncan Birch

Really great post Tamara and couldn't agree more a lot of the social networking aspects use all the same principles as e-mail has used and still uses. Digital delivery to a number of different platforms. That is why I think ESP's like ourselves are starting to divert from using the actual terms ESP (email marketing service provider) as this landscape changes we need to change. We already distribute paid content for some of our clients that is not just e-mail marketing it's digital content distribution. I think we need to embrace all the knew digital mailbox's as you put it and expand our offerings to allow easy distribution to these knew forms.

Alec Saiko

I believe the term 'Online Marketing' already covers all this quite beautifully, despite being so simple.

Email Marketing is only a part of the whole Online Marketing mix, just one segment among the others - PPC, social network marketing (this includes Twitter, Facebook, etc.) et als. From here, we can split into direct (one-to-one dialogue - email, SMS) and indirect marketing (one-to-many dialogue - social network marketing, PPC). In indirect marketing segmentation and targeting are harder to achieve and we rely on the possibility of acquiring interest of users with neighbouring iterests.

Usually, indirect marketing is a part of an acqusition channel (it doesn't require a specific permission from a customer, for example - like PPC), whereas direct marketing is a part of a retention channel (customer is actively engaged and is more proactive; communications require consent).

What we are seeing is further fusion of both channels and search for a unified solution. However, an online camaign can get too cumbersome as it would have to account for all possible recipient 'boxes' to maximise its reach - Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, Orkut, MySpace (to name just a few). This would also make it difficult for the recipients: I want to receive updates by email AND some obscure niche community portal that has 1% of your customers - would you invest in R&D to please that 1%?

I better stop talking now for the sake of not getting into a philosophical argument with myself...

bart vermijlen

This very nice post has the same starting points as a thread I started on EmailMarketersClub a couple of months ago http://www.emailmarketersclub.com/forum/topics/how-to-integrate-social-media. Duncan Birch came up with sort of the same conclusion as you do. "What I do think would be great if you could have some technology to perhaps automatically post to different social media platforms when scheduling an e-mail campaign. That way you have a wider audience and people will see your communication in their preferred application."

denise cox

Hi Tamara,

>>I see a future where technology will allow us to prepare a message that can be delivered to all these digital mailboxes with just a push of a button.<<


IMO, one impact this type of technology will present is on the content. (It always comes down to the content anyway!) We'll have to carefully craft multiple versions of our message. Each version will reflect the 'size' of the mailbox. Each size will probably require a different Call To Action. (I'm thinking the smaller the inbox the more immediate the action will be)

Words will become ever more important - and the 'less is more' will continue to impact on versions of our messages.

dan barker

Great topic! Here's my take:

I sometimes think about the word 'Marketing' in general. I guess it evolved from the days when someone would gather up their goods & head down to the local market. They'd stand there, their stall painted all nice, shouting out their best offers, looking out for people who'd bought from them before, or expressed an interest.

Today the analogy might be:

1. Your stall is your website (or your etsy shop, or your amazon marketplace listing).
2. Your 'roll up, roll up' stuff is your search advertising, display campaigns, your blog even, and maybe your affiliate program.
3. And I guess that 'email' is the other bit: Remembering those people who've bought from you before, or were interested enough to say "hey, next time you're around feel free to tell me some more about your goods", and proactively going to them with a message of value.

The difference between part 3 & the other parts is firstly the permission, & secondly the 1-2-1 aspect: the 'Personal' bit.

'Direct' perhaps doesn't work as well as 'Personal', because twitter, facebook group messages, RSS feeds, even your website are all 'direct' methods of speaking with customers, but they're all one-to-many (broadcast) media. Whereas email is one-to-one (even though, as Stephanie says, we often just use it as if it's broadcast).

So anyway, after that long ramble, I'm going to suggest "Personal Digital Marketing". Or even just "Personal Marketing". The process, tools & techniques of speaking to an individual person among your contacts and actively presenting them with valuable messages based on a prior expression of interest.

Johan de Keulenaer

Interesting post, probably lotsa people are wondering the same.

"Digital Direct Marketing" kinda defines what it is imho in an understandable way imho.

Stephanie Miller of Return Path

Love this post, Tamara, thanks for starting the conversation. Yes, the inbox is portable, and consumers have more than one. But, frankly, I don't care about the name. I care about the approach.

I would love to see us all evolve from the broadcast mentality that is so prevelant in email marketing today, to something that truly is engagement (good idea, Richard) or a digital dialog. Too few marketers actually engage, we still like that old "blast" broadcast model which gives us control and keeps brands on a pedastool.

So whatever we call it, I hope that it represents a real, subscriber-centric shift in approach, rather than just an acknowledgement of the expansion of "subscriber viewing devices."


Kevin Hillstrom

Now that is a well written mini-essay. Very forward thinking!


Dare we say... Engagement Marketing?!? As you state, it's a paradigm when you connect with the customer at the time, in the channel and with the message that is most appropriate for them.

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