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BizReport : Email Marketing : October 02, 2006

Direct Marketing Trend: Self-Destructing Email?

Lawyers use self-destructing email technology to protect the privacy of their clients, but could the same technology be used by online marketers to improve client relations?

by Kristina Knight

A good number of direct marketing emails are sent straight to spam and junk folders, and some consumers simply delete the mailings without reading. According to marketers, the ploy could be beneficial, especially when sending time-sensitive mailings or targeting segmented groups.

Geoff Atkinson,’s director of email marketing told DMNews, “I think self-destructible e-mail could help marketers create a sense of urgency for time-sensitive promotions. It would be just an added feature at our disposal and might be beneficial for time-sensitive e-mail campaigns.”

He says, self-destructing ads could be sent before a sale, and set to disappear once the sale is over. That way consumers won’t feel cheated if they go to the website after the sale only to find that the sale items are no longer available. Disappearing emails could also be a benefit from the belief that marketers aren’t spamming them, and are taking steps to ensure their inboxes won’t become cluttered.

On the con side David Atlas, vice president of marketing at Goodmail Systems, says (via direct email marketing is trying to target a broader audience and that self-destructing emails would contradict those efforts. “It seems counterintuitive for a retailer to actually have much use of a technology that, after a time, would make his e-mail marketing messages self-destruct.”

Tags: self destructing email, spam

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