Evolution of Email Marketing

Email has come a long way in the 15 years since we started in the industry. Batch and blast (otherwise known as “spray and pray”) was very much the norm, and CAN-SPAM was just introduced. Triggered messages were a brand new concept, with only the most sophisticated marketers sending a welcome message. Savvy senders were able to reference a database field and personalize email text with “Dear FNAME”. It was the digital wild-west.

At the time, the majority of newly minted email marketers were forging into digital territory after years of experience in direct marketing – transitioning from catalogs and postcards to HTML. There were no classes to teach fundamentals of email, it was all on-the-job training. Some old-school digital marketing techniques worked (FNAME!), others flopped (single image-based message!). We were self-taught, solving each new problem as it arose, leveraging lunch n’ learns and networking events to share knowledge.

Yes, a lot has changed in 15 years. Grade schoolers are now learning how to code, and there are college degrees in digital marketing. The DMA has numerous marketing certification courses and a quick Google search can conjure up articles and whitepapers about every aspect of email. Industry standards and best practices have long been determined and documented on the backs of early email marketers, and we are now free to focus on optimizing each tactic to enhance the email experience. Wow – what growth!

However, despite the vast amount of documented knowledge available, you can’t replace the value of experience. The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve at break-neck pace, and email is the very foundation. The average email marketer is between the ages of 25-34 with less than 3 years in digital marketing, making it more critical than ever that we intentionally connect and share. There is huge value in continuing to network with peers, and the EEC is working on new membership offerings for those who are just entering the job force- more to come on that in future months.

The EEC is chock full of knowledge in the email world. From deliverability to design to strategy- we have it all. Whether you want to check out our annual conference, browse some email marketing basics, or become a member and have coffee with some of the industry’s most coveted email marketing experts- the EEC has a place for everyone.

Bonnie Malone, Sr Director of Consulting & Knowledge at Return Path
Jennifer Hoth, Sr Relationship Marketing Strategist at DEG
eec Membership & Marketing Subcommittee