The Future of the New Inbox

I have written scores of articles (for this publication and others) on a subject near and dear to me: email marketing. For much of the 10-plus years I have been dedicated to this space; I have focused on optimizing programs and how to successfully articulate (and sell) email to key stakeholders that may be less enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) about this channel. I find myself now like the proud parent of a growing child. My baby is growing up!

Email marketing remains the cornerstone of digital marketing. One that drives revenue, ties integrated marketing together, keeps customers connected with your brand, and fuels the growth of social and mobile platforms and applications. It’s the digital hub, and thankfully most naysayers have quit pronouncing its impending death.

I am extremely proud to announce the publication of my second book “The New Inbox: Why Email Marketing is the Digital Marketing Hub in a Social & Mobile World,” which was officially released today. This book, a follow-up to my first one, “The Truth About Email Marketing,” hopefully brings a reader (who I hope is any marketer looking to learn, test, and evolve) not only up to speed on where email marketing is in 2013 but where and how email marketing fits in an increasingly crowded and chaotic digital landscape.

Email has evolved and I am quite confident that it will continue to do so – one has to continue to do so to be the workhorse of any digital marketing department, and I think email marketing will do so in the foreseeable future. Here’s how and why:

  • Email isn’t just email anymore. It’s marketing automation, it’s social media, it’s mobile, it’s an ad network, it’s a robust integrated digital marketing weapon, and most of all it’s the invitation to your customers’ and prospects’ inbox. That’s what makes permission email so powerful and unique.
  • Email has real sizeable leaders on a grander stage. Several email-focused companies call the public markets home. ExactTarget, Responsys, and ConstantContact all are well respected and capitalized market leaders (with one poised to take the IPO leap soon). Acquisitions have been plentiful in the past few years and that will continue due to the beauty of email’s recurring and somewhat predictable business models as well as the landscape that often finds email to be the bridge to sexier channels. A healthy industry must have strong leaders with bold visions and deep pockets.
  • New email-focused business models lead to where email is going. The daily deal companies have generated further awareness for email’s clout, but companies like LiveIntent, Movable Ink, Only Influencers, and dozens of hyper-focused agencies have emerged to capitalize on email’s staying power as the stickiest of all web apps, plus the dynamic new nature of how consumers and businesses consume their email and interact with their inbox.
  • Email marketers get it. They really do. Email marketers know they aren’t the belle of the ball but toil in the trenches to get work done, close business, drive their brand to the most coveted place on any smartphone or desktop, and are open and aware of how email works in a broader business sense. This may seem like sycophant cheerleading chatter but it is a key to our industry. People have blood, sweat, and tears to show in this industry and aren’t looking to take the first train out of email to a flashier place in the digital ecosystem. This helps to speak for why email is the most mature and long-lasting of all digital marketing platforms, not to mention why so many email marketers like what they do and even enjoy their competitors’ company. This is highly unusual and something many deserve recognition for. The technology is strong in email but the people are stronger!

So I hope the new book makes a bit of a difference. I know there are countless people trying hard who make up the hard workers of the email marketing industry. Let me know what you think of the book if you get a chance to read it. Thanks in advance and here’s to the future of the inbox!

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

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