The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

2008 Predictions Review – Hit or Miss?

Every New Year’s I take the avalanche of information I gather from clients, business partners and  hundreds of articles and white papers I have read of the previous year and try to make some bold predictions for email marketers.  Like any modern soothsayer, my predictions are a medley of hits and misses, such as my accurate such as the call for more email marketing legislation in 2008, and complete flops such as my 2007 suggestion of wider adoption of RSS by email marketers.  More importantly, however, they are the basis for my predictions for the upcoming year (2009 will be posted next week).

2008 Prediction 1: The Death of the ISP White List (Hit and Miss)
While still in use, ISP white lists have been fairly marginalized as reputation-based systems have taken a much larger foothold for managing spam.  In fact, Gold Lasso hasn’t noticed a real deliverability difference between clients who follow best practices and do not participate in a formal white listing program, than clients with the same practices and do participate in one.  This might explain part of the reason there was a fire sale of Habeas to ReturnPath.  The only ISP white list that will continue as is in 2009 and that I know can guarantee 100% deliverability is GoodMail.

2008 Prediction 2: Email Rendering on Mobile Devices Will Be a Continued Issue (Hit)
Even with the advent of the second generation iPhone with improved HTML email rendering, designing for the mobile screen was a big challenge for email marketers in 2008.  With click rates in some cases exceeding open rates, mobile devices threw email marketers through the rendering loop forcing many of them to abandon open stats and to better segment their mobile subscribers.  

2008 Prediction 3:  Authentication Technology Will Become Mandatory (Miss)
Even though email authentication is mandatory for all members of the Direct Marketing Association, it’s still not being used by a large number of senders especially marketers that use in-house email marketing systems.  Based on discussions with clients and other industry veterans, I have concluded that many IT professionals still don’t know how to implement email authentication technologies let alone understand what they are for.   In addition to the lack of education, email authentication technologies still face an uphill battle as a result of a number of domain registrars preventing their customers from attaching the necessary text files to their DNS entries.  Overall, authentication is gaining ground but it still has a long way to go to make a difference in the war against spam.

2008 Prediction 4: More Legislation Might Be Around the Corner (Hit)

In June of 2008, the Federal Trade Commission tightened and clarified some of the language in the CAN SPAM Act to make it easier for consumers to opt-out of commercial email.  In addition, the FTC took another step toward making a clear distinction between commercial and transactional email.  While all these new clarifications are good, this poorly crafted legislation continues to fall short of its original intention of staving off spam.

2008 Prediction 5: Social Networking Sites Will Become the New Inbox Providers (Miss)

This prediction was bold and premature, yet I believe it will soon come to fruition and I’m sticking to it for 2009.  There’s no doubt social networking sites are chipping away at traditional personal email as Millennials, Gen Xers and Yers are adopting the medium as one of their main choices for personal communication.  However, if social networking wants to entice older generations, increase visiting times and eventually sell more ad space they will have to open their networks to include traditional email communication.  This day is coming and I’m banking on it!
 

Continue reading
  11658 Hits
11658 Hits

GoodMail WILL Survive in 2009

There's been a lot of speculation if GoodMail will survive in 2009, and thankfully much of it has been put to rest today with the announcement of its third round of funding lead by Bessemer Venture Partners. After a lot of research, my feeling is that GoodMail is currently a must for financial services companies. With identity theft on the continual rise, banks, credit unions and brokers need to ensure that they are taking every step possible to secure their customers information and to prevent phishing.

Continue reading
  22829 Hits
22829 Hits

My Prediction for Commercial Email If Sender ID is Accepted – A Windfall for Email Marketers And Price Descrimination For Consumers

For those of you who define spam as a commercial email sent from a legitimate company help is on the way. Large ISPs such as AOL, Microsoft and Earthlink have been pushing the adoption of Sender ID technology which authenticates that email sent to your mail server is from a legitimate Internet domain and one that has not been forged in the mail's header. This is the most promising technology to date for stopping all the solicitations for diet pills, mortgages and body enhancement drugs since these are the types email solicitations that usually contain false domain information. Sender ID technology can also give an ISP, corporate network admin or even an individual an easier way to block all information from a particular company.

As an email marketing executive, I applaud Sender ID technology and can't wait for it to be accepted and implemented. My reason for being pro Sender ID is simple LONG TERM economics. Sender ID technology should eliminate most of the hucksters and fly by night companies and decrease the volume of email sent in general. In addition, many consumers will opt not to receive any type of commercial email easily taking advantage of the technology's power. With a decrease in the supply of email that makes it to a recipient's inbox, the more apt consumers will be to review and respond to legitimate commercial email. When the medium starts experiencing better response rates, the more valuable my products and services will become, allowing me to charge higher prices for volume being sent through my system.

At first glance this seems like a great for people who consider all commercial email to be spam. But in the end consumers who opt not to receive any commercial email will become the biggest losers in the spam game. My rationale for this is based on the fact that companies and marketers will reward consumers who have a lower cost per acquisition or a lower cost to market to and punish consumers who make them jump through hoops to communicate with them. Lower prices will come in the same format as they do offline; coupons, rewards programs and preferred pricing. The simple fact is that the incredible efficiencies email and other Internet technologies affords are too great for companies to ignore even if it means ticking a few consumers off by sending unsolicited commercial email.

Just keep this in mind. In five years from now long after Sender ID has been accepted and implemented, if you have turned a blind eye to the commercial email world don't get upset when your neighbor has 100% of his vacation paid for because his frequent flier's miles program decided to give him some extra points for receiving some spam.

Continue reading
  11756 Hits
11756 Hits
The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.

Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!