A couple of months ago I wrote an article about the evolution of email marketing for DMNews. In the midst of juggling other things, I neglected to post it here. Await no more … you can read it inline below or from dmnews.com. Enjoy!
Mark Twain once wrote, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.” His quote definitely rings true in the online marketing world. In the early days of the web, online marketing practices closely mimicked those of the print world, before evolving to fully realize the unique benefits of life online.
In the mid-1990s, websites splashed onto the scene to the excitement of marketers everywhere. Online pioneers modeled their websites after the print world – a world they were most familiar with. Unfortunately, early websites had many of the limitations of print media – static content with little interaction with its audience. With time, websites evolved beyond their static origins to become more dynamic, often integrating user-generated content and “mashups” with other web services. These advancements, often embodied as Web 2.0, were significant steps forward in engaging online. Of course, these developments did not happen immediately and took time to evolve past the limitations of the print world.
Email marketing is no different. In the beginning, email marketing meant simple one-way campaigns to lists of email addresses, regardless of demographic, relevance or timing considerations. Marketers were speaking at their customers rather than engaging them in an ongoing conversation, just as they had done before in the traditional print world. Today we know that email marketing is much more powerful. Today, Email Marketing 2.0 is possible.
Email Marketing 2.0 empowers marketers to establish a relevant and ongoing relationship with their audience. As user-generated content and “mashups” help engage website visitors, Email Marketing 2.0 dramatically increases relevancy for marketers with the use of intelligent, automated, transactional, and time-series messaging. These techniques let the marketer connect with the right recipient, with the right message, at the right time, multiple times. As more email marketing service providers offer more straightforward and approachable automated and triggered messaging options, migrating to email marketing conversation will become attainable by even the most novice email marketers.
Email Marketing 2.0 opens up an exciting new world for marketers. It lets marketers stay relevant with their audiences, increase mindshare, and drive revenue. This has always been the “Holy Grail” of marketing, even back before Mark Twain’s time.