Commoditisation will kill e-mail marketing

In the news article “E-Marketing set for major revenue hike” (MW May 19), you quote a study by E-Consultancy, which estimates that e-mail marketing revenue is set to grow by at least 25 per cent in 2005.

While this is good news for the online industry, the devil is in the small print, namely that, “there has been some pressure on prices in the industry as a result of the commoditisation of basic e-mail services such as delivery”.

Commoditisation in any industry is a dangerous trend, but for e-mail marketers it could prove to be lethal. Whereas traditional direct marketing rewards practitioners for accurate targeting in the form of lower wastage, e-mail marketing effectively punishes the same practice.

How? Once an e-mail has been produced, clients often perceive the only remaining cost to be list data, and this encourages a broad scatter-gun approach – an opt-in form of spamming. After all, why e-mail 10,000 highly segmented consumers when for a few thousand pounds more you can e-mail 1 million?

If e-mail marketing is not to go the way of the telemarketing cold-call industry, then a concerted effort needs to be made by leading industry figures to de-commoditise e-mail marketing and ensure only the best practice survives. Are you listening, DMA E-mail Council?

Louis Halpern

Chief executive

Halpern Cowan Advertising

London NW6

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here