AOL and Yahoo! Put a Nail in the Email Marketing Coffin

Chris Pirillo has been talking about the death of email for a number of years. In May 2004 I talked about the rising cost of email. Marketing email is definitely getting harder to send and the cost is rising.

A new line item to add to the cost of sending email marketing is a tax imposed by AOL and Yahoo! The AOL and Yahoo partnership with Goodmail means marketers will be looking for better ways to reach consumers as email is being taken down a notch in the marketing food chain.

Gizmodo says that this news is proof that today’s email delivery protocol is broken, and proposes a new strategy for delivering email:

What we need here aren’t ways for AOL and Yahoo to bankroll their next corporate retreat in Bali, but an entirely new system of email “subscriptions” which ensures that email to and from the folks from whom you want to receive email makes it to your mailbox, and everyone else’s is buffeted back.

This concept of “subscriptions” from companies you trust and want to hear from sounds a lot like RSS to me… Anne Holland at Marketing Sherpa professes her new love of RSS in a nice piece about this new “email toll,” and says:

If the charge-to-deliver email trend sticks (and I bet it will) other email clients, from MSN’s Hotmail to Gmail, as well as corporate email servers, will start charging too. Your budget for email may double over the next 12 months. And then it will double again when rates start, inevitably, going up… And, I can tell you right now, RSS is looking pretty danged good.

Consider what it takes to put together a successful and compliant email campaign today.
- Consumer opts-in
- Sender ID
- CAN SPAM ACT
- Blacklists
- Known Sender
- Email Filters
- Bonded Sender Program
- Now, AOL and Yahoo! email tax

Compare that to using RSS…
- Consumer opts-in
- Publish Content
- Send

Though the difficulty of getting emails to target audiences will become easier for companies joining the Goodmail service, the costs will soar, and for many, this cost will become prohibitive.

Moving marketing efforts to RSS for these folks makes so much sense because it offers comparable click-through-rates, a direct line of opt-in communication with the customer, and of course, eliminates spam. And, it’s tax-free.

5 Responses to AOL and Yahoo! Put a Nail in the Email Marketing Coffin

  1. Anonymous says:

    WHAT IS "RSS"????

  2. anna says:

    I think that companies have to start considering that even without the threat of Goodmail charging a cost-per-email, there already are costs per unit of email: Data storage, management, etc. Legal fees on unsub issues…

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