March 7, 2014
Extravision celebrated its 10th birthday this week.
Although our email platform began life in about 2001, Extravision only became a stand-alone company in 2004. So, feeling nostalgic, I was thinking about the email marketing industry now compared with how it was in 2004. With the speed of change in the industry now, my memories are of it being in black and white compared with the current market!
So what are the main differences? Was it really black and white?
Everyone’s doing it
Back then some marketers were terrified of email marketing. Many companies had no email marketing program at all for fear of being branded ‘spammers’. Yet, they continued to send out direct mail and fax marketing – far more annoying than email. Can you imagine any serious brand now without an email marketing program?
Managed service v Self-service
A lot of our clients in 2004 needed a full service from us as their email company. They weren’t confident enough to manage the campaigns in house. Over the last five years the balance has definitely tipped in favour of teams using us as an ESP and keeping campaigns in house. Many companies still use us for copywriting, design and delivery but large marketing teams tend to have an email marketing expert amongst them.
It’s all got so clever.
Back in 2004, the first time someone asked us for an online version of their newsletter it seemed like witchcraft to us! Our personalisation engine and the display of open rates blew people’s minds. Now emails can have dynamic content, responsive design, images created on the fly, cart abandonment and new technology for emails is appearing all the time. Very sophisticated email programs are within the reach of even the smallest on-line retailers.
In the industry's early days, the challenge was just to have some email addresses. Whilst data collection is still a main priority for companies, it’s more about segmentation and email lifecycle programmes. It’s not enough just to have the data, it needs to be kept clean and up to date and well profiled if it is to serve your email marketing program correctly.
I had a look back over an email from a premium retail brand that we work with to see their newsletter from 2005. It looked so basic and, rather cutely they sent one newsletter per quarter! Spring, summer, winter and autumn - hardly a winning email marketing program. Now people are much more relaxed about frequency and realise that your marketing goals can only be hit with a multi-faceted email strategy.
So what does the next 10 years hold for us? Who knows? Jet packs maybe? Whatever it is we’ll do our best to make sure that we continue to deliver cutting edge email technology to you and that your email program is the star pupil in your marketing plan.
Posted by Jenni Malley
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