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BizReport : Email Marketing : February 13, 2007

Instant messaging features embedded in Yahoo email

Yahoo has moved their mail program into a more social environment. Following the lead of competitor Google, Yahoo has added embedded instant messaging features into their free email program.

by Kristina Knight

Previously, Yahoo mail users had to download separate messaging software to engage in messaging. "We are hopefully bridging the gap between e-mail users and IM users," said John Kremer, vice president of Yahoo Mail (via Reuters). "There is still a chunk of Yahoo Mail users who aren't using IM."

Embedding the messaging software makes email less of a letter writing phenomena and more of a chatty phenomena, allowing users to communicate quickly over a vast space. Google was first to embed messaging features in their Google Talk program. MSN followed suit, upgrading their email service to notify users when email contacts are signed in to their accounts. Users can then send either an email or an instant message.

It isn't clear yet, how email marketers could best use instant messaging to increase their revenue in the coming years. Could they create a program similar to coupons and incentives mobile advertisers use with text messaging campaigns? That is possible. What is clear is that more than 80% of email marketers say they will increase their spending this year. With fewer messages being opened because of phishing scams, email marketers must find a way to increase open and conversion rates in their campaigns.

Tags: email, email marketing

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