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In 2009, the recession drove marketers to e-mail because of its cost efficiency and targeting capabilities. This year, expect growth to continue, along with additional investment and sophistication.

E-mail will emerge from the digital marketing department corner and capture the attention of marketing executives and CMOs.

“Since e-mail has good ROI, it is finally getting the respect it deserves at higher levels,” says John Rizzi, president and CEO of e-Dialog.

E-mail will continue to integrate with other new media channels, including social media and mobile, experts say.

“The lines between traditional e-mail inboxes and social and mobile inboxes are beginning to blur as channels and devices converge,” says Sean O'Neal, chief revenue officer at Datran Media.

While the channel is expected to grow, it will still be challenged. E-mail growth can lead to inbox overload. As volumes grow, deliverability is as crucial as ever. In addition, marketers that do well will focus on giving customers control.

“I think as volumes go up, savvy marketers will have to focus on customer preferences to compete,” Rizzi adds.

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