That is – not dead at all. Today was a big email day for me sending out two blasts. I’m currently using ConstantContact which is the best value for the price – free to start and not expensive after that. I’ve used ExactTarget, which is a great product (and perhaps in my future due to integration with Salesforce.com), and in fact Chris Baggott from over there is coming out with a book next year and if some of my pieces make the editoral cut I’ll be published there.
Contrary to what you may hear, email is very much alive, just as is direct mail as I can tell from the 35 catalogs that have come in through the mailslot at home in the past week. Perhaps no longer the silver bullet, these tactics still deliver.
ConstantContact has some benchmark figures across the service that are interesting: Global Bounces are at 18.3% (although probably understated since I get some Out of Office messages direct to me), opens at 37%, and clicks at 8.9%. I do better on bounces, lower on opens, and much better on clicks. My personal mailing list (for The M Show, listen now!) has under 1,000 names but performs at a level of magnitude much greater (9x cleaner 4x clicks). This is quite normal for smaller lists, I have more stats on that but I’m not going to dig that up now, leave me a comment if you want more.