The email marketing domain has turned 40 this year. For so many years this form has given plenty of reasons and great results to the marketers.

Marketing Land contributor Kyle Henderick has shared some big moments in the history of email marketing.

Henderick says, “Earlier this year marked the 40th anniversary of the first mass marketing email. On May 3, 1978, a marketer for Digital Equipment Corporation named Gary Thuerk sent an unsolicited email pitch to 400 business prospects. Although the email blast resulted in an avalanche of privacy complaints, it served as the foundation of email marketing as we know it today.

It’s important to remember that in the early days, marketing emails were essentially spam. Marketers routinely sent emails to massive lists of potential customers — none of whom had willingly subscribed. The original marketing emails also lacked the features that define a quality email today, like HTML, simple design concepts and value-added content.

But despite the spammy nature of his email, Thuerk’s mass email generated $13 million in sales for his company — a result every email marketer today would be proud of. The power of email as a marketing channel was clear from the start”.

Email marketing turned 40 this year. Now what?

Marketing Land