Published September 21st, 2016 by

The Deep Connection between the futures of The Cloud and Email Marketing Software

by Hadar Graf

“The Cloud”.  In any context other than the internet, the term might sound ominous, but for most of us today, it is a large, very amorphous technological entity that makes wonderful things like webmail and online file-sharing possible.  What many don’t know is, that despite Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, having introduced the term “cloud computing” to the public consciousness “only” 10 or so years ago, it has been around for decades.  In fact, the term was first coined in 1996, by Compaq Computer engineers, and implementations of cloud computing, loosely defined as “using a network of computers to store and process information”, date back earlier yet.

What is for sure, some of the pioneers of massive scale cloud computing, and perhaps the most pervasive consumers of The Cloud today, are the well-known internet based freemail services that we have all come to depend on such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail. With such close ties between email and The Cloud, it isn’t surprising that The Cloud, and its continued evolution, has tremendous implications for email marketing in general and for email marketing software platforms in particular. At ActiveTrail, for whom email marketing technology is our business, we are keenly aware of this entanglement, and following are some of our thoughts on how cloud computing, is (and will) impacting our industry.

Customers are on Cloud Nine

Ubiquitous access to the internet via mobile devices, computers, wearables, Internet of Things machines, etc., is making desktop/offline applications obsolete. People are able to access their own personal content, whether it be e-books, files or emails, whenever they want, wherever they want. eCommerce is gradually overtaking physical store shopping. More people are spending more time on social networks every day. In short, online is where people are, and an increasing part of this is through cloud-based services. So, if that is where people are, that is where marketers need to look for them, and the people who make the tools these marketers use, e.g. email marketing platforms, had better be thinking about the cloud in every aspect of their offerings.

Email Marketing Platforms Are Migrating to the Clouds

Indeed, virtually all email marketing applications (including ActiveTrail) have, or are in the process of transforming into cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. With this move to The Cloud, in addition to universal access to their email campaigns, consumers of these platforms, our customers, are enjoying all-sots of benefits including real-time, in-depth views of the status of their campaigns, on-demand, up-to-date statistics and reports, convenient access to distribution lists, and, perhaps most important for a great many organizations, unparalleled collaboration options.

Costs that Are Turning to Vapor

While early cloud computing required businesses to hold their own expensive server farms, including all of the related overhead that went with it, today, a plethora of companies offer a wide range of “cloudifcation” options that have significantly reduced the costs of developing and maintaining cloud based services. Examples include hosted cloud services, e.g. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, or “plug and play” (well maybe not that simple) cloud infrastructure. As with all services that are making the transition to the cloud, so with email marketing application vendors, the reduced costs of making such a move allow these vendors to focus their attention and resources on improving the quality of their cloud based services and of the user experience they afford to their customers.

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

While most of the (well justified) hype around “The Cloud” innately touts its benefits, it comes as no surprise that cloud computing introduces a whole slew of security, privacy and harassment issues. As we could fill up a whole series of articles on the subject, one issue that is of particular interest to the field of email marketing is SPAM. One of the major issues with the internet in general, and with cloud computing specifically, is that people are leaving their contact details and personal information with a growing number of businesses and institutions, many of which will sell their information onward. As such, you, and I, our neighbors, and anyone with an email account is continually swamped with a deluge of unwanted mail. In come SPAM filters. We as consumers are usually pretty happy with them (save for the occasional, very important mail that goes to the SPAM box), but they have made the lives of email marketers much harder. Consequently, ensuring that emails get to their designated inboxes, and do not go to SPAM, also known as “deliverability”, has become one of the top issues for email marketing system vendors. For example, here at ActiveTrail we are committed to high deliverability rates, and indeed we offer what just might be the best rates in the industry.


There is an allegory just begging to be told in order to sum things up.  In nature, clouds are a blessing, heralding rainfall to replenish our water resources, however, we must always be weary of the immense power of clouds, which can quickly turn disastrous in the form of floods, hurricanes, etc.  Much in the same way, The Cloud is perhaps the single most important technology towards the progress of email marketing software, but we, as vendors of such platforms, must always keep abreast of the pitfalls cloud computing has in store, lest The Cloud wash over us like a typhoon.

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