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“Integrating data sources so that more marketing offers can be driven into all the e-mail streams the retailer uses to touch the customer is something retailers need to be looking at more closely,” says StrongMail’s Deutsch. “Retailers are going to need e-mail technology providers that can reduce integration issues through direct connections between their data sources and e-mail applications.”
Finally, retailers must ensure that their messages actually arrive in customers’ inboxes. “The trend toward outsourcing e-mail delivery is going to continue because many retailers lack the resources to keep pace with the changes in the market that can affect deliverability,” says Adams. “Outsourcing e-mail delivery is becoming a competitive necessity.”
The coming changes in e-mail technology and the increasingly competitive nature of the marketing medium will make it more important than ever for small and mid-sized retailers to choose the right e-mail marketing partner.