Most business email users receive more than 100 email messages and send more than 30 messages on a daily basis. In other words, sending emails and reading them takes a lot of time. It didn't start all of a sudden. It went through a process. In this article, we are going to take a look at the evolution of email marketing.

If you are an email user, you may be getting inbound messages from entertainment companies, retailers, healthcare providers, and other businesses on a regular basis. Even if you don't send any email, you still get a lot of email messages in the inbox to check on a daily basis. These companies or businesses send these emails for marketing purposes.

Now the question is, how did businesses start using email in order to market their products and services. We will answer this question in detail. Besides, we will also talk about where the industry is heading.

This story begins with Gary Thuerk who was the marketing manager at a popular corporation known as Digital Equipment Corp in 1978. The responsibility of Gary was to promote the TSeries of wax systems. Digital Equipment Corporation had hundreds of customers. So Gary decided to find a way to get in touch with all of them simultaneously in order to save time and effort.

The birth of spam

Apple computer came into existence in 1976. Digital Equipment Corporation decided on extending the PDP-11 architecture and opted for 32 bits. Aside from this, the company also decided to include a virtual memory system. Therefore, the resulting system was the virtual address extension for the VAX architecture.

VAX-11/780 was the first computer that implemented this computation architecture. DC named this machine "super mini-computer" T-Series which is the latest model of this supercomputer.

Gary wanted to find a way to communicate with the customers of the company. In other words, he was in search of a technology that would make it possible for him to communicate with the West Coast and East coast consumers simultaneously. He did not want to write to each customer one by one. So, with the help of his assistant, he sent a single email about an informational event and sent it to 400 customers.

As a result, the company made tons of sales. In 2007, the Computer World interviewed Gary. In reply to a question, Gary revealed that the new way of sending emails resulted in sales of around 14 million dollars. In other words, the corporation sold tons of DC machines the worth of which was around 14 million dollars.

Gary also said that he received a lot of complaints from the customers but the benefits outweighed the complaints.

"spam" is the term that emerged later. It's not clear as to how the term "spam" was started being associated with email marketing. In fact, it's as unclear as the origin of the email itself. According to some people, this term was taken from Monty Python skit of 1970. Others believe that it's origin goes back to the first real-time multi-user shared environment, which was called MUDs (Multi-user-dungeons).

The decision taken by Thuerk brought a revolution in the world of email marketing strategies once and for all. Companies started sending tons of unsolicited emails to a large list of recipients.

Email marketing and mobile phones

The world saw the first smartphone in 1992, which allowed the owners of mobile phones to send and receive email through their mobile phones. Apple released its first smartphone in 2007 and named it iPhone. According to an announcement made by Apple in 2011, the company successfully sold more than 100 million handsets of iPhone. Another report revealed that more than 75% users of iPhone in Britain had used their handsets to send emails. In fact, sending and receiving emails on mobile phones is the most popular activity nowadays.

According to the reports released in 2012, more than 40% of emails sent for marketing purposes were received on mobile devices. Since most consumers read their emails on their mobile devices, marketers try to find new ways to make their emails look best on mobile phones.

During the same period, social media sites started having a great impact on email-based marketing campaigns. In 2006, Facebook was made available for common users. By the end of 2007, Facebook had more than 100,000 pages for businesses. So, a lot of companies started using Facebook in order to attract potential customers.

This was the era when consumers could communicate with different companies via different mediums, such as email, Facebook, and Twitter. So in a couple of years, the importance of data management and data collection increased significantly. As a result, the focus of marketers shifted from desktop computers two different types of mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Email Marketing Future

Automatic emails and responders  

Today, almost all marketers know the importance of automation of emails. Automation allows marketers to send emails at the best time possible for better conversions.

The good news is that you can use marketing automation software for automation of emails without spending a good deal of money.

For automation, you need to use an email automation or marketing automation platform.

The use of pictures and Gifs in emails

Soon email marketers started including Gifs in their email newsletters for enhancement. Since the image formats are either PNG or JPEG, they work in almost all email clients. Even if gif doesn't show, the first frame is always visible so the subscribers don't get confused. Gifs serve the following purposes:

  • Add humor
  • Make the email more friendly and inviting
  • Trigger interest
  • Add delight
  • Add a sense of intrigue

The Future

Email marketing has never been so popular. Nowadays, most email marketing campaigns are focused on hyper-personalized ads. So, the emails of today are customized based on the needs and interests of target customers.

Marketers of today are facing a lot of hurdles. The reason is that there is a clash between regional and national data protection laws and global commerce.

In Europe, the European Commission established the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018. The purpose of this regulation was to unify and strengthen data protection for the people within the European Union.

So this is how email marketing has gone through the process of evolution. Today, email is one of the best means for businesses to conduct their email marketing campaigns. And most businesses are getting the most out of this technique.

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