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What’s the Future of Email Marketing?

Over the past several years, there have been increasing rumblings about how email is a now-mature communications method that’ll eventually go the way of the FAX machine.

Don’t believe it.

No doubt, texting and direct messaging have cut into some of the bread-and-butter aspects of email communications.  But what about e-mail marketing?  Could we see a similar phenomenon happening?

E-communications specialist Loren McDonald spoke on this very topic a short time ago. He talked about the “building blocks” that have to be in place before email marketing will be seriously threatened by alternative MarComm methods.

McDonald noted the need to have an “addressable audience” when it comes to alternative channels:  “Regardless of a competing channel’s popularity, marketers must be able to deliver a comparable or replacement message to an individual.  This is where many channels fall short,” he maintained.

He also noted that most marketers possess vastly more permission-based email addresses than they do mobile phone numbers with permission to text. 
It’s the same story when comparing e-mail addresses to the percentage of their database that have liked their company’s Facebook page.

And this:  For mobile apps, the portion of the typical company’s database that has downloaded it and authorized notifications is very low.

McDonald’s point is that for these alternative channels to gain true significance, they need to achieve a certain critical mass in terms of adoption rates – thereby allowing marketers to reach their customers and prospects in a comparable manner as they can via email.

… As well as at a comparable cost.

McDonald did share three of his own predictions concerning the future of email marketing:

  • Content-focused newsletters will remain relevant and popular, particularly for B2B companies and publishers.  Companies can push multiple articles within a single marketing touch, while for publishers, newsletters are revenue-generators because they can attract ads and sponsorships.
  • For broadcast/promotional messages, most consumers will continue to prefer e-mail delivery.  
  • Transactional and triggered messages will be email’s primary challengers.


Contact Mullin/Ashley

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