By Ted Haberer

Email turns fifty this year.

Ray Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971, and it went something like this: “QWERTYUIOP”. …what a rush!

So, Email throws a big party to celebrate this milestone. They sit down with SMS to discuss the guest list, inviting all of their cool friends — Banner Ads, Social Media, PPC, Webinars, Blogs, and despite being a bit annoying at times, even Content gets the invite.

“What about Paper Mail?” asks Email.

SMS replies, “RUSSRN?* Paper Mail is too old — OMG no way LMAO.”

Sending a stamped, paper message is a throwback to the olden days. They shrug with indifference.

*Are You So Serious Right Now — can you believe this is a thing?

The invites go out, and despite Email being its partial namesake, Paper Mail does not make the cut. She misses the party and spends the night playing Pinochle with her friends Telegrams, Radio, Billboards and Phone Calls, but guess what? Others were also absent. Quite a few others actually. How did this happen?

Email sent out all the important invitations. Of course, many of them were never opened. Emails went right to the spam folder too. Banner Ads were often blocked. Blogs, Webinars and Content got some traction. Social Media got a few smiley faces and hand claps.

Ok, enough of the mythology…
When you’re invited to something important, like a wedding, a graduation, a milestone birthday, etc., and you get that beautiful invitation in the mail with the return postage thoughtfully prepaid for your RSVP — you probably do what I do and stick that baby on the corkboard or maybe even the fridge, officially rendering it unforgettable. It’s an old system. Tried, tested, and true.

Besides, mail is old. Egyptians had some semblance of a mail service more than 4,000 years ago. The postal service in Canada began in 1763. The first US postal service went into operation on July 26, 1775. Mail is old alright, but Mail can still party.

With age comes wisdom. You don’t live as long as Mail has without adapting and evolving. Mail has watched these young whippersnappers scramble over one another for a few years now. Mail has seen what works, and Mail has decided that it’s going to have to stay relevant if Mail wants to make future guest lists.

Timeliness and variability stand out among the many attributes that Mail has admired about these young hotshots. So recently, “Snail Mail” got themselves a jetpack.

Ironic, that Mail has emulated these new kids on the block, but that’s what the great ones do. They learn and adapt. Now fundraisers can send automated Mail within a few hours of the guest list being decided upon. Each message tailored, specifically curated, for the uniqueness of its recipient. The question you marketers need to ask yourself is: how badly do you want your donors and sponsors to attend your party?

Ted Haberer is Director of Customer Success at Prime Data.

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