In a provocative post at the Online Marketer Blog, DJ Francis argues that the days of email marketing—as we know it—are numbered.

"Marketers are no longer interrupting customers' lives with sales pitches," he says. "Instead, they (or the good ones, at least) are concerned with providing value so that the customer will want to visit their site." Here are some of the reasons Francis believes that promotional email may go up in flames:

  • According to JupiterResearch, 17 percent of Americans create a new email address every six months. "This churn is steadily (and increasingly) chipping away at your list," he says.
  • An M+R/NTEN study of nonprofit email campaigns found that open rates and click-through rates have been in steady decline for three years. Notes Francis, "I think it's safe to say that the results for businesses would be even more dismal."
  • A growing number of people prefer to communicate through social networks like Facebook, where they are unlikely to encounter spam.

As you might expect, Francis' hyperbolic claim of "imminent death" sparked a lively discussion in the comment section. "I think it's likely that some version of email will live on," he clarifies in the ongoing conversation. "It's the killer app from Web 1.0. But…there will be something of an evolution (and probably a big one at that)."

The Po!nt: Scan your options. You might disagree with Francis' premise, but it never hurts to anticipate how new technology and preferences might change the way you communicate.

Source: Online Marketer Blog. Read the full post here.

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