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The Death of Mass Email Marketing

by Justin Palmer - August 10th, 2007

The keyword here is mass.

The pandemic of declining open rates and increasing opt out rates with bulk Email Marketing today is a serious problem. These days, a full inbox is about as overwhelming as the ad section of the Sunday newspaper or a mailbox full junk mail. There’s simply too much, and subscribers can’t take it all in. Because email marketing is no longer a novelty, subscribers won’t simply open an email because in comes from a name they recognize. So what’s the solution?

Personalized Subject lines with the recipient’s name? This might help the open rates slightly, but if there isn’t personalized content, the user will again grow tired of the irrelevancy.

One of the greatest examples of customized email marketing today is I-Tunes. With a few clicks, I can select which artists I’m interested in, and request to be notified everytime a new album or single is available. The result? At least for me, I open the email every single time. Why, because they have trained me to. I know that the content I’m getting is personalized and customized for me and me alone.

Fortunately, it seems many long time email marketers are finally realizing that mass email marketing is on it’s last breath. Marketers must consider that the shot-gun approach to email marketing is doing more damage than good. Sure, if you email your whole list every week with generic messages, some people will always respond. However, the burnout factor must be considered.


Justin Palmer is the owner of Palmer Web Marketing, a Christian internet marketing company specializing in Christian email marketing, website usability, and SEO.

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