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You are here: Home » The Marketing Diary » Column: Direct-to-Desktop Marketing » Paul Chaney on RSS: RSS Will Replace E-mail

September 27, 2004

Paul Chaney on RSS: RSS Will Replace E-mail

We're continuing with the series of excerpts from the interviews I did for my upcoming e-book on RSS, today with a few interesting views from Paul Chaney, the owner of the Radiant Marketing Group, a consultancy geared to helping small businesses establish and enhance their presence on the internet.

Paul has a much different opinion from Crt Jakhel who we hosted here a couple of days ago, and sees a very bright future for RSS.

Rok: You are one of the marketers declaring the demise of e-mail. What do you believe will happen and why?

Paul: Email is fraught with problems. Here are the major ones I see. . .

1. CAN SPAM The difficulties and hurdles associated with CAN SPAM compliance is proving to be a major headache for marketers. Appraently, it has had little effect on the amount of spam as well, in spite of recent fines and prosecutions.

2. Spam filtering, especially AOL.
In spite of the highbar that has been set by email best practices, it is not unusual to see bounce rates as high as 30%. AOL can be particularly tedious to deal with, but you have to because so many people use the ISP. While CAN SPAM set the lowbar for standards, the ones that still own the playing field are the ISPs, and it's a bit like the wild west out there. The law in the form of CAN SPAM may have come to Dodge City, but out in the territory, the outlaws (ISPs) still make the rules.

3. SPAM
Spam is still so prevalent, in spite of efforts to stop it. Need I say more.

4. Overcrowded inboxes
I believe people are weary of so much email in their inboxes that less attention is paid to it, with the exception of personal mail from friends and family , or business-related mail, of course.

Because of the above, I feel email will lose its status as 'king of the hill' in online marketing and content syndication. It won't happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen. In fact, perhaps the slide has already begun. I would love to see some research tracing a history of email performance over the last few years, to determine if such a slide is in place.

I think that as RSS evolves and the ability to track performance becomes more enhanced (Believe me, someone will figure out a way!), you will see email continue to decline. I give it two years for the landscape to change.

Rok: So you do see RSS replacing e-mail as a content delivery vehicle?

Paul: Having said what I've stated above, I believe that for the present, using BOTH email and RSS is the best of all possible worlds. To answer this question more succinctly. . . er. . . OK, I'll go for it. YES! I think it will. That is not to suggest that email has no place. I just feel with the advent of RSS, blogging, wikis, and other forms of social media, email can't help but lose its status.

The future will be more a la carte and less main entre. In other words, there will be several forms of syndication, not just one main one. Blogs, RSS, and email used in tandom is an unbeatable combination for the present.

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[December 23, 2004]
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