If e-mail marketing was a stock, I would hedge it. As I told Marketing Mag:
While its effectiveness will continue to decline in 2010, it will still provide one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel. That said, I believe it will be incrementally harder to persuade consumers to sign up for e-mail campaigns. E-mail will also need to be integrated into other marketing channels such as social media. We need to figure out how the content we create is truly distributed and how many times our targets see our messages.
Further to this, one of the main reasons I am less keen on e-mail marketing is the growth and proliferation of smart phones, or mobile devices. On the BlackBerry in particular, e-mail marketers and, more importantly, vendors such as ThinData and Lyris (formerly EmailLabs) need to solve is the usability issue of a smart phone receiving an html-heavy email, as I did today:
If this basic user experience issue can be solved, we can move on to solving the email overload issue – the real issue facing e-mail marketing.