Is Everything Old in E-Mail New Again?

I’m sure you’ve heard that many people believe there are no new stories, only repackaged tales with a different spin. I wonder if e-mail technology falls into that bucket. Six years ago, I got a revolutionary e-mail from a vendor. It contained a button that said “click here to call me.” I did, and I was connected to him within 5 seconds. It was so much fun I immediately knew we needed to integrate that service into all the e-mail we sent. A lot of press and accolades came from being an innovator and using this revolutionary technology.

Around that time, another vendor came to show me another brand-new application that would allow me to perform on-the-spot e-mail analytics by simply clicking and dragging demographics into a worksheet. That was neat too, so once again I became an innovator.

As time goes on, I continue to be introduced to these cutting-edge technologies. In fact, about a year and one half ago, I was introduced to heatmapping, which allows me to see where customers and prospects look when they open my e-mail. Once I realized how insightful that could be, we added it to our offering mix as well.

But behind the scenes, in every one of these innovative discoveries, I encountered a realist. Someone who was happy to point out these technologies aren’t new at all. In fact, they have been around in some form or another for over 20 years. In the end, none of these technologies were really new. Instead, they were reintroduced to the market place or introduced with a new spin.

What does that mean for e-mail marketers?

It’s really good news. Knowing you can create the wildest, craziest, most dynamic, and innovative communication stream and journey with your customer is pretty powerful. Being sure you’ll be able to execute on that idea by leveraging technologies that do some of the craziest things you can ever think of is even better. And having fun rediscovering those technologies is a truly satisfying experience (even if you aren’t the first to find it).

Just a sampling of the newest technologies I have been introduced to:

Though I won’t weigh in on which of these technologies I like, use, and so on, I will give kudos to all the technology companies out there that help bring our e-mail strategies to life. Even if these are technologies that have been around in some form or another for years, these types of technologies and offerings give us hope that even our wildest and craziest e-mail contact strategies and engagement efforts can be realized.

Enjoy the links, and feel free to send any other innovative sites or offerings you’ve found my way. I’ll share them in a future column.

Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.

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