How Data Changed Marketing – The Past 10 Years of Direct Marketing, Conclusion
Wunderman's world of 1939 hadn't yet entered the frenetic pace of today's channel integration challenges, though.
Looking at a snapshot from just the past decade, it's easy to see marketers learning lessons by trial and error while they learned how to best use new channels—including email.
Up until 2012, email appending—or using offline data to fill in missing fields that matched up with email data—was an accepted practice to integrate online and offline customer data. That practice quickly fell out of favor after one blog post from Ben Isaacson, privacy and compliance leader at Experian. On Jan. 18, 2012, Isaacson wrote, "A CheetahMail New Years' Resolution: Giving Up Email Append."
Isaacson explains that in the beginning of email append, in 2001, he worked to unite email service and data providers to create email append. "At the time, my thought was that since few offline marketers had customer email addresses that the process of a marketer sending an opt-out request to receive their communications would give the email marketing industry the needed boost to build commercial viability." But in 2012, he wrote email append had only been meant to be a "stop-gap measure until offline marketers achieved critical mass online and no longer needed this acquisition method to bolster their email programs." Now, marketers can collect email addresses in so many channels—including two that became popular after 2001, mobile and social—that consumers have plenty of ways to opt in to marketing programs. Plus, email append hurts deliverability, and, he says, not just because its opt out violates the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL).
As recently as Thursday, during her IMV13 session, Cyndie Shaffstall, founder and CEM of Spider Trainers, provided similar advice. She told an audience member not to automatically opt in replacements for business contacts. Even if the audience member received an out-of-office email response from an opted-in contact, Shaffstall's reading of the CAN-SPAM act meant that the alternate contact listed on the OOO email needed to opt in before receiving marketing messages, as well.