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Is EMail Passe?
Has the novelty worn off or is EMail the killer app of the Internet?
cyril kearney

 5:59 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

When I was involved in those big "glass-house" data centers in the past, I was always amazed at how out of touch most MIS departments were with their own corporate needs.

Driven by this disconnect client/servers replaced much of the big iron but the same techno-centric attitudes have re-emerged.

Very often I hear webmasters say that email has passed its prime, that sheer volumn has reduced its effectiveness. That they are working to filter it out and hold down its volumn

When I speak to the Marketing side of the house they tell a different story. EMail they say costs a small fraction of what Direct Mail costs and sells about several times as many goods.

I'm talking to an online brokeragehouse that handles 20 million pages a day, a 300 plus store retail chain. I am also talking with about a half dozen small Direct Mail firms not involved with the Internet that expect the next postal rate hike to put them out of business.

Does this mean that only large well known companies can be effective in email? Is the email ineffective for small businesses? Are webmasters the natural enemies of the marketers?



 6:20 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Quoting... well, you, Cyril...

But Forrester found in August 2000 that 50% that email was a good way to find out about products. This year 38%.

They also found that the consumer is only half as likely to buy from email as they were last year.

Part of the disconnect between webmasters and marketing is the difference in their respective familiarity with the current state of the technology, in this case, email. IMO, JohnQ falls squarely in the techno-laggard category, along with the majority of marketing firms.

This is not to say that email marketing isn't going to work, it will. But I think it's going to eventually move into the same cost range as direct mail.

cyril kearney

 7:42 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

The Forrester quote is how the receivers of email felt.

I was talking about how the marketers felt and what they were experiencing.

Here's another cut from Rebecca Lieb's What's the Buzz column:

Professional webmasters carry a lot a weight and their opinions will be listened to
within corporations.


 4:03 pm on Dec 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just read Lieb's article. Good stuff, thanks for posting it. She also seems to leave us hung on the same point we've reached here... that spam may be killing the medium.

That said, even if effective email marketing eventually equals the cost per eyeball of direct mail, it's still a tool marketers must consider using.

>Does this mean that only large well known companies can be effective in email?
Reading the article, that's the vague feeling I have. Tools like Mobular or services like DARTmail aren't in the budget for small business, just like land-based direct mail.

>Is the email ineffective for small businesses?
An excellent question. For the moment, let's assume that email marketing will remain an effective tool for large companies able to invest in quality tools & management. Let's also assume that spam will continue to grow as a plague. Hemmed in on both top and bottom, will the small business be crowded out of email mass-marketing? My Magic 8 Ball [magic8ball.com] says it's a 'definite possibility.'

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