Do widgets mean e-mail's demise?

Share this content:
Andy Lloyd
Andy Lloyd

I'm often asked how gadgets and widgets compare to advertising banners. It's a good question, but may be more an indication that we all have much to learn about how this type of interactive marketing fits our existing paradigms.

Widgets and gadgets are actually more analogous to e-mail marketing than banners. I have the North Face “Video of the day” gadget embedded in my iGoogle page. It's an attractive alternative to e-mail marketing. Like e-mail, and unlike banners, it allows the retailer to deliver targeted offers as frequently as it wants. If they are not invasive, I want to see special offers regularly. If I ignore them, they just go away, and are replaced by a new one later.

And, unlike e-mail, it provides the richly interactive experience consumers have come to expect. The difference between HTML-based e-mail (the richest e-mail standard) and the Web is becoming more and more dramatic. Just as I open my e-mail every day, I see my gadgets every day when I open a browser. Sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I actively engage with them. In either case, I know where they are when I want them.

Interactive banners are far more random. Have you ever tried to track down a banner ad once you've closed a Web page? Forget about it. Retailers know they will never get consumers to visit their site every day, but they may get them to regularly view an engaging gadget.

With e-mail marketing, the consumer retains control. E-mail too frequently (or infrequently) and consumers will cut you off. Give them an interesting widget, but leave it unchanged for months — they'll certainly remove it from their page.

Think of a widget as a TV channel; too many commercials, too much overt content or too much of the same show and you'll lose the viewer. If that widget looks the same two months after launch — well, save your budget for other forms of marketing.

It is unlikely that gadgets and widgets will spell the end of e-mail marketing. But while I don't know of any moving their entire mar­keting budget from e-mail to widgets, they merit serious consideration as a new and potentially superior form of advertising.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above