email-marketing-150x150Internet marketers who have been at this for a while and have actually studied what we do know that there is no online marketing technique that works forever. Great marketing methods that worked well six months ago may not work at all today, and the things that produce wonderful results today may end up becoming a waste of time six months from now.

Unfortunately, such is the nature of the Internet marketing beast, and I think it is quite possible we may be witnessing this process in action as I write this in regards to email marketing.

Back in the day, (when the Internet was in its infancy), email marketing was a wonderful way to make thousands of dollars at the click of a button by sending one email to a random list of people. There was no regulation, the unethical and shady fly-by-night email marketers that prey on the public today were few and far between, and Internet users still got excited whenever they got email of any kind. Those were the days, my friends…{:-(

Now we have tons of regulation that was created as a result of the work of said unethical miscreants, and people have started to view email as another source of unwelcome aggravation, (again, thanks to the junk email they have been buried under by these shady individuals). I read a statistic the other day that said that almost 90% of the email that gets sent and received is nothing but unsolicited sales drivel that does nothing but irritate the average recipient, and work against those of us who are legitimate Internet marketers trying to make a living online.

To top that circumstance off, the main email service providers like Google and Yahoo have been taking ever more serious and restrictive steps to curb the junk email epidemic, and the latest step is nothing short of a marketing killer.

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that it would introduce the division of email inboxes with tabs labeled “Personal”, “Social”, and “Promotion”. It did, and now the email that goes to your Gmail inbox gets sorted automatically and quite arbitrarily, with marketing email automatically going into the “Promotions” tab.

This is a HUGE problem for us Internet marketers, because now reaching a prospect with our marketing message has become exponentially more difficult than it was before. Even when a prospect decides to opt into our squeeze pages, our follow-up autoresponder emails will get automatically dumped into his “Promotion” tab. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic, but I happen to believe that most people will look at the “Promotion” tab and experience an overwhelming urge to erase its contents without reading them, (due to the generally strong aversion towards junk email that exists out there).

A vast number of email users have free Gmail accounts, and I believe that Yahoo and the other email service providers out there may not be far behind Google in taking similar measures. To me, this trend means that email is on the way out as an effective method to put our marketing message out there, at least until some marketing genius comes up with a way to counter the trend. That will probably happen, but it will take some time.

In view of this, I have decided to walk away from email marketing for now and concentrate on things like SEO through Article Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, Banner Advertising, and offline methods like Postcards and Display Ads in home business publications like Entrepreneur, etc. Successful marketers learn to adapt and roll with changes like this one in the Internet Marketing industry, but we don’t necessarily have to like it…  };-)

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