Romell Weekly Proclaims Death of Email Marketing – Does He Have an Alternative?


Back in 2007 and 2008, “Death of” reports and e-books were all the rage in Internet Marketing circles. Need to build your list and/or make some short-term cash? Just select a “hot” issue within the niche, enunciate some controversial ideas, and provide a pay-per-lead (PPL) incentive to ensure that your ideas’ spread.

While many of these so-called “ground-breaking” reports were merely ploys to hype product launches, some actually merited a good look and even some reflection.

Romell Weekly’s The Death of Email Marketing: Why Email is Dying and What You Can Do About It., if nothing else, had a catchy title. Is he serious? Electronic mail – the lifeblood of Internet Marketing from e-commerce’s inception – really going the way of the Dodo bird?

A Christian pastor and online marketer based in St. Louis, Missouri, Weekly can best be described as an “under the radar” personality who claims some success in the “BizOp” niche. One of the positive aspects of Internet self-publishing is the freedom to tackle meaty subjects like e-mail marketing. So, if it takes a relative unknown like Romell to push the industry forward, so be it.

Therefore, with eyes wide open, it was time to put Death of Email Marketing to the test…

The Heart of the Matter.

Not surprisingly, Weekly begins his report in praise of e-mail marketing which, when combined with list-building, has been the most predictable way to earn online income for over a decade. In fact, it helps establish Romell’s most important business premise:

“Instant contact is the key to a Healthy Internet Income…”

He contrasts e-mail’s speed and efficiency with its cumbersome offline marketing equivalent. “Old school” direct response mail has been beset with many problems; i.e. cost, tracking complexity, and contact management issues, that have been mostly eliminated by e-mail relationship marketing.

However, the good news ends there…

Romell lists several “minor” e-mail marketing drawbacks, including a lack of proactive subscriber whitelisting, spam/junk filtering, blacklisting, and restrictions on multi-format messaging (i.e. HTML). He then proceeds to e-mail’s major problems:

Address Changes
Inundation (i.e. e-mail overload)
“Spamvertizing”; i.e. being promoted by others in unsolicited emails.

A Slow and Painful Death?

Finally, Weekly cites the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act as sounding e-mail marketing’s death knell. As rules for list owner-subscriber contact become more complex, lawsuit fears and lower deliverability rates will render e-mail almost useless. Sure, friends and family may still use it to maintain contact, but serious businesses demands a more robust alternative.

The Cure for Your e-Commerce Fears?

Romell Weekly’s solution to the future of electronic business contact – a straight-to-desktop marketing network – is sort of new, but mostly a hybrid of existing methods reformulated and rebranded for new buyers and consumers. Suffice to say that it incorporates many “old” concepts: safelists, downlines, viral networks, etc.

Romell tries to justify desktop marketing by showing how it avoids e-mail marketing’s pitfalls. Unfortunately, in the 2-3 years that desktop marketing has been widely available, it has not evolved into a problem-free panacea. High profile endorsements notwithstanding, well-known marketers have not abandoned e-mail even as they incorporate other techniques into their business strategies.

Good Try, but…

If nothing else, Mr. Weekly should be commended for his bold title and premise, even if his solution (in my opinion) leaves a lot to be desired. E-mail marketing certainly has its share of issues, many of which Romell enumerates in the report. However, in spite of these shortcomings, it remains a powerful commercial tool for businesses of all stripes. It will be difficult for anyone save the most jaded Internet Marketer to completely abandon e-mail in the near future.

There may come a day when e-mail relationship marketing is superseded by other forms of business contact. However, it is unlikely to die; it may even benefit from the emergence of new technologies and better enforcement of online business behavior.