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Fluent Unveils Email Marketing Landscape 2.0

7/21/15
 
By Ken Magill
 
Email address acquisition firm Fluent has unveiled the second version of its email marketing landscape—a visual map of companies in the email marketing ecosystem. 
 
As was the case when Fluent unveiled its first email landscape in January, the visual representation lumps vendors into various categories and places in boxes. Fittingly, email service providers occupy the central box.
 
Other categories include “acquisition,” “MTAs,” “data services,” “agencies,” “contextual,” “predictive and triggered,” “email analytics, “in-email advertising” and “emerging.”
 
Jordan Cohen, Fluent’s chief marketing officer makes clear the effort is not all inclusive and that it is admittedly subjective.
 
He also said he took “a ton” of predictable grief after publishing the company’s first email landscape. 
 
“It was awesome,” he said. “I got probably 100 emails from different executives throughout the industry who thought they were wrongfully excluded from the landscape. I did not cave in to all of them.”
 
He did add 30 companies, however.
 
To be included, companies must be making themselves visible by publishing thought-leadership type articles and participating in conferences, according to Cohen.
 
For example, Toronto based email service provider Maropost made the second version of Fluent’s email landscape because the company has emerged as a major conference sponsor this year, according to Cohen.
 
“They all of the sudden, kind of out of nowhere, have been the platinum sponsor of every email conference,” Cohen said.
 
Other ESP additions include Zeta Interactive, StrongView and Yesmail, according to Cohen.
 
He estimated there are around 200 ESPs and, as a result, there is no way to include them all.
 
“I just wanted a representative sample,” he said. “So I added some of the more notable ones. We’re still excluding a ton.”
 
Cohen added: “I fully disclose this is subjective. And the way you get on my landscape or anybody’s landscape is by getting your brand out there. If you’re not doing anything, I’m not going to know about you and neither is anybody else,” he said.
 
Notable additions in the agency section of Fluent’s email landscape are the Relevancy Group and Merkle.
 
“Merkle was a big miss last time,” said Cohen. “The Relevancy Group was also one of my big misses last time.
 
“A big story in the industry right now is the growth of all these specialty agencies,” said Cohen. “That probably is a direct result of all of the big takeovers of the ESP leaders by cloud marketing companies that are emphasizing less internal provision of services and more partnerships.”
 
Cohen said he also renamed some categories. For example, what were originally called email validation companies are now referred to as data-services firms.
 
“Data services reflects more the scope of what they do,” Cohen said. He also changed deliverability to “email analytics.”
 
“Yes they’re offering deliverability but I wanted to recognize that they’re often providing more,” he said.
 
Cohen said he plans to update the email marketing landscape every six months. 
 
Check out Fluent’s new email marketing landscape here.
 
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