The State of the Email Marketing Economy: Whistling Past the Graveyard?

I spent much of last week at the Messaging Anti-Abuse Work Group (MAAWG) meeting in San Francisco.  As usual, MAAWG was a great chance to catch up with the folks we work with both at Email Service Providers and ISPs.  Here’s the conversation, I heard several times over at the conference between folks from ESPs:

ESP A:  How is business?
ESP B:  Great, we had the strong fourth quarter and Q1 is looking good
ESP A: Yep, us too.

The other thing I’ve heard from a lot of email marketing sources is that they are seeing a lot of customers that are new to the market – that are just starting their email marketign programs.

The experience of the ESPs is very similar to what Return Path is seeing.

So my theory from this is that marketing budgets are being shifted to email marketing.  From an economic perspective this can make since – there are a fair number of stories that say email marketing done right provides the highest ROI.

I hope my theory holds and that we all aren’t just “whistling past the graveyard.”

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