Biggest Thing to Hit Email in 10 Years

Discussion in 'In The News' started by roundabout, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2011
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    Not exactly breaking, but it's newsworthy all the same.

    'Biggest Thing to Hit Email in 10 Years:' Expert

    Miami--In a move that has revolutionary implications for email marketing, Yahoo and Hotmail--and to a lesser extent, Gmail--have quietly begun allowing senders to include dynamic content in their messages.

    The development allows marketers to do previously unheard-of things such as change the content of an email after it goes out.

    "This is the biggest thing to happen to email in 10 years," said Joshua Baer, founder and CEO of OtherInbox, who took part in a presentation on the development today at the Email Evolution Conference in Miami.

    "Dynamic content in an email makes the email just like a Web page," he said. "You can now run JavaScript in an email. Once you can run JavaScript, you can do anything."

    Baer added that for the last 10 years, email has been stagnant in large part because of security concerns.

    "We got HTML but it was broken HTML," he said.

    The ability to serve dynamic content conceivably allows marketers to overcome the image-rendering issues that have been so prevalent in email for the last decade.

    This new feature also allows recipients to interact with the messages without leaving their inboxes, Baer said.

    "This is their [Yahoo!'s and Microsoft's] answer to Facebook," he said. Currently, when someone gets an email from Facebook, clicking on it results in leaving Yahoo! and Hotmail and going to Facebook--good for Facebook's traffic numbers, bad for Yahoo!'s and Hotmail's.

    With their new dynamic content feature, the email recipient stays on Yahoo! or Hotmail.

    But wouldn't Facebook have to adopt this feature and wouldn't Facebook balk at adopting such a feature?

    "Maybe, maybe not," said Baer. "Think of it this way: Every action you require users to take costs you conversions."

    So while, say, Groupons may lose some traffic using Yahoo!'s and Hotmail's dymanic content capabilities, it gains enough in sales conversions to make the traffic loss worthwhile, said Baer.

    As far as Gmail goes, Baer said, the inbox provider is currently making dynamic content available in its corporate users' inboxes only.

    While information surrounding these developments has been made public, the ISPs are apparently skittish about promoting them.

    For example, a representative of Microsoft was scheduled to participate in the presentation this morning in Miami with Responsys' Aaron Smith, but was forced by upper management to cancel at the last minute. Baer stepped in to take his place.

    "Everything we're talking about here is public," said Baer. "I just don't think they're ready for 500 marketers to call them and say: 'I want to try dynamic content.' Right now they're looking for large brands with great email practices to beta test it."


    Afterthoughts... if one can change content dynamically, imagine being able to capture a click, being notified, and automatically having that ad "change" to offer #2 in the same category, just in case that click didnt convert, the person (before deleting the email) will see something totally brand new. Could this work? Or would a "refresh" be needed in the email client?
  2. ndocoder

    ndocoder VIP

    Mar 10, 2011
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    San Diego
    This would work. Javascript is based on events, so when the user activates an event, such as a click, a rollover, a mousedown, etc..., assuming they dont limit the javascript functionality, you could pretty much do anything like you would in a website, ie change an ad, have them fill out and submit a form right there, and a million other possibilities limited only by your imagination.

    Because people are devious and the code is run by your browser on your local machine, most ISPs blocked Javascript a long time ago for all of the standard virus/bot type reasons, which leads me to believe that they will need some sort of security that does not allow certain code to run.
  3. Fun4uoc

    Fun4uoc VIP

    Apr 22, 2011
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    100% right, there are too many malicious things that could be done.
  4. airin

    airin Member

    Mar 22, 2011
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    Key Largo, FL!
    If you want to spend some $$$ and don't mind sending unmasked links, not being able to host your images, etc. you can use Omniture to essentially self-optimize email creatives on the fly. It's not Java or anything special like that, but is a useful tool for the people developing campaigns to make sure they are giving publishers the best possible creative/from/subject combinations.

    I don't know of any mailers that actually use this as practice, as it adds a whole new level of issues for delivery. It'd be awesome for someone to come up with something like this geared towards the mailing end and not the advertiser/development end.
  5. DoldGigga

    DoldGigga VIP

    Mar 25, 2011
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    I actually have a fully functional MTA written in javascript. I think this opens the door to interesting things.
  6. Emaginem

    Emaginem VIP

    Mar 9, 2011
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    I smell an excellent mailerforum case study

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