Jun 2012

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How Email Marketing Is Like Bacon and Zombies

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Off the top: apologies for the most link-bait-y set up I’ve ever published here on the BombBomb blog. Stay with me, though …

Bacon, zombies, ninjas, and – to a lesser extent – pirates.  What do they have in common with email marketing?


They’re hot again.  They’ve regained their cultural relevance.  People have once again recognized their value.  They’re being talked about more often.


zombies, zombie, undead, glow, action figures, playset, figurines

Glow In The Dark Zombie Image Used With Kind Permission of Accoutrements/Archie McPhee


Though there’s no cable television show about email (to my knowledge) or action figures about email marketers (the Seth Godin action figure‘s as close as it comes), you can’t miss the blog posts and webinars about email if you’re paying any attention at all to trends in online marketing.


The first recent wave of posts was the always-hilarious “dead” concept, as in “Email Is Dead.”  So many techniques and technologies are declared dead.  This wave typically touted social media while emphasizing the challenge of successfully getting attention in the inbox (more on this very shortly).


The second wave was the reaction, the necessary and true “not dead” response, as in “Email Is Far From Dead.”  This wave emphasizes the continued ROI leadership, the high daily usage across all age demographics, and the opt-in, permission-based nature of this recipient-preferred marketing channel.  Email marketing here is also defined in part as a great complement to social media.


bacon, action figure, mister bacon

Mr Bacon Image Used With Kind Permission from Accoutrements/Archie McPhee


Unlike the others – except bacon, perhaps – email will retain this relevance. Investment is growing. Per Forrester Research, the US spend on email marketing in 2011 was $1.51B. By 2016, it’s projected to be $2.47B.


This 10% growth rate over the next few years is driven by several factors.  I’ll mention just four:


  • continued cost-effectiveness of email marketing
  • continued ability to target recipients, track responses, and improve results
  • increasing online, inbound, and content marketing by companies and organizations of all sizes and kinds
  • increasing value of an opt-in subscriber


The fourth factor reminds me of television broadcasting (the industry from which I came).  Even as the viewing audience gets smaller and more fragmented, TV ad rates continue to climb – it’s still the best place to reach lots of people quickly.  Here, despite the continued incidence of spam emails, recipients are seeing fewer of them through better filtering.  The harder it is to reach email subscribers with generic, bulk, and even unsolicited messages, the more valuable they become as people who want to receive your information, updates, and offers.


Email’s effective. As fashion fades, function forges on.


How Email Marketing Is Like Bacon and Zombies:




Learn More:

Dan Zarrella from the Hubspot “Science of Email Marketing” webinar

DJ Waldow from the Waldow Social “Batman & Robin: Email & Social Integration” slideshare

Chris Brogan from the ChrisBrogan.com “Email Marketing Tips” blog post

My TMR Direct “4 Reasons To Use Email Marketing” guest blog post

My Inbound Now “4 Reasons To Add Video To Your Email Marketing” guest blog post

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