A new era and how it all began

Worldwide, well over 300 billion emails are sent every day these days and likewise, email marketing continues to grow. Marketers love their email campaigns and email databases are guarded and nurtured. Almost everyone with an email account now receives promotional emails on a daily basis. But let’s look back for a moment at how it all began. Where are the roots and origins of the furious developments in recent years and decades? Let’s look at the birth of email marketing.

From Computer to Email

With the “Univac 1” from the Remington Rand company, the first commercial computer appeared in 1951; this alone was the beginning of an absolute success story, as we all know very well today. It was not until another twenty years later, in 1971, that Raymond Tomlinson sent the first e-mail. Surprisingly, Tomlinson had developed this type of communication out of his own interest, as a kind of side project. Surprisingly, it was not an official project of his employer.

In the following 7 years, e-mailing continued to develop unceasingly, but in those 7 years no one had thought of using e-mail for advertising. This is also very difficult to comprehend from today’s perspective, but as we all know, everything takes time.

The first Email-Marketing-Campaign ….ever

DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), then a computer manufacturer, had been offering computers since 1957. The new development with the name “DECsystem-20T” was finally supposed to be presented to the interested public in 1978, but various people and companies, especially on the distant west coast of the USA, could not be reached or could only be reached with difficulty. Gary Thuerk, a DEC employee, decided to send a “mass email” to 397 recipients. The content was to be an invitation to a product presentation.

In preparation, Gary selected the recipients from a total of about 2,600 users who were in the “ARPAnet” (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) at the time, who were then entered in the programme for sending the e-mail. Only the e-mail programme and its text editor were used, although sending to so many recipients was of course not yet planned.

The sending of this e-mail did not remain without consequences, because 40 of the 397 people who were sent the e-mail finally visited the product presentation, which ultimately led to sales worth a sensational 12 million dollars. But the joy was not undimmed, because complaints were not left out. After all, it was also the world’s first spam email. None of the recipients had given their consent beforehand by today’s standards.

Although such extremely positive results with only 397 recipients are not really to be expected nowadays, we at Bancomail are happy to support all companies that want to use the advantages of email marketing to expand their business. With our GDPR compliant database and over 11 million records, there are opportunities that you could only dream of in 1978. So don’t hesitate and use the opportunities of our time for the success of your business.