Was Web 2.0 The Grinch This Season For Email Marketers?

Email marketers were making their lists and checking them twice.  Trying to find out if their email creative was naughty or nice.  The question they should be asking is whether Santa or the Grinch came to town for their email campaigns.

The life of the email marketer is a challenging sort compared to their colleagues in display advertising and paid search marketing.  For display advertisers, its mainly about snazzy creative and engagement.  For paid search marketing, its about targeting, relevancy and delivering the user’s expected website experience upon the click.  For the email marketer, they must bridge all of these components together and then beat the goaltender that is mining the email service provider goal to deliverability.

A new wrinkle has begun to emerge in the email space that many have overlooked this past year and into the holiday season.  While email marketers were evaluating their content for spam trigger words, balancing their images to copy ratio and ensuring that they had their opt-out message included, Web 2.0 swept in with a monkey wrench that is redefining email marketing.

Web analytic tools are providing richer data than ever and it is becoming imperative for email marketers to integrate their campaigns for deeper review.  In reviewing our clients’ web analytic accounts, our agency found an amazing growth trend in the use of mobile devices, particularly with email.  Annual % of traffic increases for internal email campaigns ranged from 127% to 508%, with actual percent of traffic from those using a mobile device interacting with email ranging now standing between 4.09% to 15.18% in late 2010.  The use of mobile gets even more interesting when evaluating acquisition email efforts, as we saw % of traffic rates range from 26.2% to 64.3% across different advertisers and vendors.

These trends suggest it is imperative that email marketers begin thinking about Web 2.0 if they have no already done so.  These are monument shifts in a one year period, being driven most predominantly by consumer acceptance of iPhones, iPads and comparative mobile device offerings.  Mobile devices appear to have finally reached the “tipping point” of user acceptance. And with this holiday season, there is no doubt that iPhone and iPads are going to be a hot gift which is going to climb mobile device usage to further heights in 2011.

Long story short, if you are using a landing page or website without mobile compatibility, the trend is clearly stating you are going to be causing your email marketing campaigns harm.  The New Year’s Resolution for email marketing in 2011 is going to be interoperability.

About Tim Daly