A Very Short History of Email Marketing PART TWO

In case you missed it; have a read of our short history of email (part 1).

Infographic: History of Email Marketing Part 2

1980s: Email Marketing Goes Rogue

Sending email was free – and a brand could send as many marketing email messages as it chose to. This was a brand new, untapped resource for marketers to take business advertising and branding to the next level.

In 1988, the word “spam” was included in the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time. Not to be confused with SPAM, the tinned pork/ham product beloved by our grandparents, spam referred to unsolicited and unwanted advertising emails.

1990s-2000s: War on Spam

  • In December 1996, Xoom, a web-hosting company, send an email advertising their Email Robot, which was an anti-spam filtering tool. The irony was that this email was sent to six million recipients! The campaign was apparently intended to be tongue-in-cheek – literally sending junk mail to people who detested junk mail, advising them of a tool to eliminate junk mail.
  • In 1998, the Data Protection Act of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was updated to include compulsory opt-out options for all email marketing. This Act defined processing of data on identifiable, living persons.
  • In 2003, the Can-Spam Law was introduced in the USA. It set the first regulations for marketing emails, and this was followed by comparable laws in Europe. Companies thereafter tweaked their approach to avoid triggering spam alerts, including text all in caps, attachments, exclamation points, and low open rates.
  • In 2004, the Sender Policy Framework was implemented. This provided a system for email validation, whereby a sender IP address was verified to prevent email spam.
  • In the early 2000s, the number of marketing emails grew exponentially and the volume of those that delivered viruses also grew; this led to greater requirements for filtering ISPs and various issues relating to deliverability.
  • By 2004, recipient feedback was offered to email service providers and spam complaints became a valuable metric. Development of anti-spam strategies became a priority.

In 2008, more than 90% of email marketing messages were spam. In 2015, there were more than 2.5 billion email users globally. More than half of all emails received worldwide were spam.

2010s: Smartphones take over

A 2015 study by Pew Research Centre demonstrated that 88% of smartphone users open emails on their phone – if not already, emails needed to be mobile-optimised.

Best-practice marketing emails in 2018 incorporate:

    • Pre-header text
    • Images and video content
    • Clear branding
    • Interactive elements
    • Dynamic personalisation
    • Mobile optimisation

A successful email marketing campaign will be personalised and relevant. Here at ClickSend, we know a thing or two about email marketing and want to help you with all aspects of your email marketing strategy – from basic emailing to email to SMS and even email to fax. Sign up for your free trial today.

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