In the 90’s marketers collected email addresses from the cc field and various other sources to build building list to essentially SPAM recipients with product and service offerings. SMS blasting also became popular.

Then came the SPAM legislative changes in the US, UK, Australia and other countries. The net outcome was recipients of email & SMS blasts had to opt in to an organization’s email campaign. SPAMers that are caught sending unsolicited emails face hefty fines.

Software evolved and took care of the requirement to manage unsubscribes, duplicates etc and finally started to deliver value in terms of campaign reporting.

e-blasting morphed into email marketing and campaign management. SMS also evolved with competitions and outbound and inbound campaign strategies.  Often email marketing systems and SMS systems were different platforms causing data control issues.

The results organizations achieved were quite extraordinary however the indiscriminate and untargeted e-blasting of email and SMS rapidly started to deteriorate. Controls around list building, list purchasing and engagement were essentially to say the least.

In 2011, David Barnes and his team at Zulu Labs went about researching trends and developing a series of best practices that has moved the discipline of e-blasting, email and SMS marketing away from a series of unacceptable practices to what is now a leading edge marketing practice called electronic direct marketing or eDM for short. This is the definition published today.