There is no doubt that the recession has bottomed out and an uneasy and ragged recovery may be slowly gathering steam. However, there are a number of economists who remain convinced that this will be a double dip recession, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed a train… ready to flatten recovery hopes like Wile E. Coyote. How will email marketing fare?

The Greatest Ad Spending Decline Since The Depression

The advertising spending statistics are coming in for 2009 and they are not pretty. According to TNS Media Intelligence, the amount spent on all forms of advertising last year dropped by 14.7%, while Interpublic Group’s Magna estimates the drop at 16.1%. Whatever the exact statistic, it represents the single greatest percentage of advertising spending decline since the days of the Great Depression.

Although some countries like the United Kingdom are already seeing an upswing in ad spending, the industry prognosticators are calling for a 2010 in the USA which will be either flat or down a bit more: 2.6% further decrease according to ZenithOptimedia, and 4.3% according to Group M.

Online Advertising Will Soon Overtake Newspapers

It is important to note that these statistics and forecasts involve advertising as a whole, incorporating newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, outdoor and cinema as well as online ad spending. When we break out the online factors we find that although the graph is as jagged as mountain range, the overall trend is upwards even through the most disastrous advertising year in nearly a century.

ZenithOptimedia is calling for an overall online advertising growth of 9.5% in 2010, with paid online search ads zooming forwards at an enviable 15% rate. Although the internet was responsible for 12.9% of total ad expenditures in 2009, this percentage is expected to reach 16.2% in 2012, a total of over $77.5 billion. One of the most amazing trends is that by 2012, online advertising will roughly equal newspaper advertising which was long seen as the monolith in the ad business.

Tremendous Growth In Online Advertising: 2008 to 2012

The growth of the various aspects of online advertising between 2008 and 2012 is definitely anticipated to be spectacular:

  • Display: From $16.2 billion in 2008 to $24.4 billion in 2012
  • Classified: From $9.4 billion in 2008 to $12.3 billion in 2012
  • Paid Search: From $23.6 billion in 2008 to $40.8 billion in 2012
  • The Internet Is The Teflon Champion In The Recession

Online advertising seems to have become the teflon champion in the advertising spectrum. While the long established traditional media crumble before our eyes, the economists’ gloom and doom seem to have no effect on the daily progress of the internet advertising industry. There is no doubt that the future belongs to internet advertising, and email marketing is a critical part of this vital online mix. Even the powerhouse internet advertising segments like paid search cannot compare with the individualization and personalization possible in email marketing.

The Difference Between A Personal Letter & A Billboard

An email can reach consumers in ways that banner ads never will. Consider it as the difference between a personal letter and a billboard. A personal letter is a message to an individual about items that are of specific interest to them, based on who they are and what they do, while a billboard is only meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator amidst the cars speeding by on the Interstate. That is why wise email marketers know that to thrive through even a double dip recession, personalization is the key to success. The more you can custom tailor your messages strictly to the individual, their likes, their dislikes, their interests and their passions, the more the light at the end of the tunnel will shine brightly with no train in sight.