The History of Email

 
You probably get dozens upon dozens delivered to your inbox everyday. Some expected, some unexpected, and some downright spooky. But do we ever stop and think about where email marketing all began? Let’s go back. Way back.

1971

 

You've got mail

Ray Tomlinson sends the first-ever email while working on ARPANET, the government’s precursor to the Internet.

1978

 

The Spamfather

Gary Thuerk, marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corporation, sends the first mass-marketing email to 400 users and it generated $13 million in sales.

1991

 

Happy birthday, internet

The Internet hits the scene and changes the world forever.

1992

 

Get it on the go!

Mobile email access is now possible thanks to the first smartphone.

1996

 

The best things
in life are free

Hotmail launches the first-ever free web email service, giving marketers a way to reach the masses.

1998

 

Eww, Spam

Spam isn’t an acronym for anything. It was used as a term for unwanted commercial mail because, like the canned meat, it was generally unwanted. It’s even in the dictionary!

1999

 

eCRM makes an impact

Email vendors begin to compile data using relational databases.

2001

 

Somebody's watching

The first behavioral email is sent, and that means folks are now being targeted and marketed to by their online behavior.

2003

 

Can spam

The U.S. introduces the first commercial email regulations to help moderate junk email.

2008

 

Spam or not spam?
That is the question

Windows' live sender reputation allows recipients to vote on whether or not an email qualifies as spam.

2010

 

Trigger happy

48% of online marketers are now sending triggered emails based on online actions taken by the users—actions such as purchasing, web browsing, downloads and more.

2012

 

Your inbox "gets" you

The DMA reports that 85% of email marketers are using data to tailor their messaging to the specific needs and wants of the recipient.

2014

 

Now, it's personal

Dynamic content is used to create a one-to-one relationship between the user and the brand. Quality replaces quantity as an email best practice.

2015

 

To the future and beyond

Interactive emails, designed to merge the inbox and browser experience, are quickly growing in popularity. From video viewing to real-time form submission, these communications are guaranteed to boost engagement and conversion. Forty percent of email clients currently support these advancements, and the rest are following fast.
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