The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email
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Explosive Growth for Email – More Legal Hurdles on the Way

Last week at the Interop trade show, David Grannan, General Manager of Mobile Email at Nokia made a crazy prediction. Grannan stated that by the year 2010 there will be more than 100 million business users of mobile email, more than 20 times the current business users.

I'm going to do the "Long Island one-up" on Mr. Grannan and predict his 2010 number won't be all business users but at least one-third consumers. My reason is simple. Consumers are at the forefront of most cutting edge technology. It was consumer instant messaging that mainstreamed the communication vehicle into corporate culture and it is consumers who are leading the way for blogs, podcasting and peer-to-peer VOIP. Whatever the makeup of the 2010 number, one thing is certain, "always on email" will soon be a reality and marketers will want to leverage it. Whether its SMS or actual email protocols, consumers and business executives will be easily reached with an efficient mobile messaging device attached to their phones. Before marketers start to dip their toes in this vast sea of email mobility they will have to tackle formatting and technical issues coupled with the inevitable legal headaches. Mobile phone carriers could become the new giant ISPs and their tolerance for any commercial email would likely be very limited. In addition, the legislation that has shielded consumers from telemarketing to their mobile phones will eventually make its way to mobile email, once pressured by mobile carriers and consumer protection groups.

Whichever way the wind blows, in the end advertising efficiency will win out over the minority vocalists and unscrupulous lawyers who claim that legitimate marketers have denigrated an emerging technology. Remember, if you're cheaper to market to, you deserve cheaper prices.

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