Email Dead? Bah Humbug.

Email is dead

“Email was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its burial was signed by banner ads, SEO, mobile and social. Marketing signed it: and Marketing’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything it chose to put his hand to. Old email was as dead as a door-nail.”     

The ever-present argument strikes again. But as 2015 winds down and 2016 approaches, will marketers begin moving away from their most prolific medium? Like a timeless holiday tale, email keeps coming back and keeps winning big. Let’s take a trip through the life of email to see how far it’s come and why marketers just can’t let go.

In the cold, dreary graveyard of email marketing lie the plots of spambots and phishing syndicates. Beneath the dust on one of these tombstones, will we see the name “Email Marketing”?


Here’s why: Over the course of 15 years of technological upheaval and innovation, email has shown an uncanny ability to adapt to the needs of businesses and individuals alike. While it is true that, in 10 years, email might not look the same as it does today, it will still be an integral part of personal, B-to-B, and B-to-C communications.

Some of the most exciting things on the horizon include: widespread adoption of HTML5, mobile-first design and real-time contextualization. The reasons for email’s evolutionary tenacity are many, but amid the technical explanations, economic theories, and behavioral observations that explain its continuing health is the simple, powerful, and undeniable fact that no matter how many naysayers predict its demise, email survives because consumers love it.

No dreary graveyard awaits email. The future is bright.

This holiday season, keep in mind that email has come a long way, remains one of the best marketing methods on the planet, and continues to adapt to new technology. Marketers can rest assured it will be here for generations to come. As you prepare your segmented, personalized, perhaps even contextually relevant campaigns, do so with a smile. And remember, when the kids run to you to scroll through message after message, you did this to yourself. God bless us, everyone!

Kevin Kelleher leads marketing for Return Path Consumer Insight line of business. He helps people see how data can be used to make smarter decisions. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys running, reading and fencing.

Publish date: November 24, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT