Email is ubiquitous and here to stay

A brief history of email

There is much debate about who invented the email. Is it Ray Tomlinson, credited as the inventor of networked email in 1971, or Shiva Ayyadurai, an ambitious student pursuing the American dream in 1978? The story you choose to accept may be based on what resonates more with your own experience.

Ray Tomlinson, 1998 (© Horenstein)
Shiva Ayyadurai (pictured at 14), 1977

I think it’s best to accept both stories as accurate in their own ways. 

The digital revolution that has taken place over the past 50 years is quite remarkable. Most Internet veterans saw its three most important stages. At first, Web 1.0 mainly consisted of static websites (are you old enough to remember Geocities?). Then came Web 2.0, or the “Web as a platform,” which brought social media and software as a service to the Internet. Finally, and arguably, most importantly, the rise of the blockchain and the decentralized web (or Web3/Web 3.0) in recent years. 

In all these years of innovation, email has become ubiquitous, and we use it all the time. Email can be transactional, informational, or promotional. Every day, we all receive bank statements, order confirmations, newsletters, and much more, including the dreaded spam, through our email addresses.

The current state of email marketing in 2021

Many companies have proclaimed that email was dead as a communication and marketing tool. If you look hard enough, you’ll see that a tech website will announce that email is dead every couple of years. Instant Messaging, Skype, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Slack, Discord, and many others have been predicted to put an end to email. Without a doubt, it’s still here, more alive than ever.

To put this in perspective, let’s have a look at recent email statistics for 2021:

  1. 4 billion people use email every day. They will be 4.6 billion by 2025. (Statista, 2021)
  2. 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach out to their customers. (CampaignMonitor, 2021)
  3. Over the last year alone, 78% of marketers have experienced increased email interaction. (Not Another State of Marketing, 2020)
  4. 4 out of 5 marketers stated they would rather forego social media than email marketing. (Litmus, 2020)

People often call email archaic, not to mention outdated, despite its stellar performances as a marketing tool. However, you’d be wrong to think it hasn’t evolved. It has seen a lot of improvements over the years. Overall, they relate to user experience, privacy, security, delivery, or marketing innovations. They all come together to make the email experience better and safer to use.

No matter how you look at it, email is here to stay, and it’s evolving. Alterable is a piece of that evolution.

Alterable and real-time content personalization inside the email

Real-time content personalization inside the email is an idea that has been around for the past ten years. Some call it contextual email marketing; others call it “magic.”

At its core, real-time content personalization is the idea that content is adaptable at all times. If the content has not been loaded yet on the client-side, it can be changed. A customer opens an email, and the content he will see will be as relevant as possible.

Over the years, a few companies have jumped into this concept and launched various software to help marketers leverage this idea. While some have done it more successfully than others, something, in particular, had always stood out to us. They were only available to companies that could afford a minimum fee (in the thousands of dollars) every month. In most cases, some sort of onboarding process was necessary.

Our team decided to change that, and the idea of Alterable (adjective. capable of being altered) was born.

Built to be simple, practical, and affordable, Alterable currently offers:

  • Countdown Timers – A proven way to increase your email campaigns clickthrough rate.
  • Dynamic Images – Helps you show personalized images inside your email campaigns.
  • Dynamic Products – Let’s you show only relevant products based on availability and other criteria.
  • Local Maps – Allows you to insert maps with points of interest relative to your subscribers location.

We have much more features planned, but all things considered, we had to release Alterable one day. We hope you’ll enjoy using it.

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