In 1978, a marketer at Digital Equipment Corp. sent a mass email to nearly 400 recipients on ARPANET, a precursor to the internet. The email promoted a new computer model, and like that, email marketing was born. But it was far from perfect: Complaints came in almost immediately and the marketer was reprimanded.
Email marketing has come a long way since then, as brands and marketers have outgrown those early generic mass-mailing campaigns. Marketers now recognize the importance of personalized and relevant messages — as a result, 61 percent of consumers say they prefer to be contacted by brands via email, according to the Adobe Consumer Email Survey Report 2017.