Email in 2025 Featuring Jennifer Nespola Lantz, Kickbox

Please welcome Jennifer Nespola Lantz!

Jennifer Nespola Lantz likes email. She’s been doing email things since 2005 like troubleshooting deliverability problems, and loves to educate on this thing called deliverability, which she does today at Kickbox as their VP of Industry Relations and Deliverability.

Jennifer is fun. Overall joy to be around. When you read her answers, you’ll understand exactly why she’s so well-liked; it’s not just her knowledge of email and its trends, but her relatable way of explaining the concepts relevant today (and tomorrow.) Carry on and read her responses. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll FEEL.

How do you see email fitting into the marketing mix in 2025?

Email. Will. Be. Dead.  

Kidding, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fatigue in email as we move into 2025. Even with all the sorting I put in place, it’s still a LOT to manage. Sometimes I wish I could just turn it all off, but dag nabbit, I want that coupon!  

I’m sure I’m not alone.  

This could have us seeing more service/product offerings around mailbox management – more separation of streams or more of a push around secondary emails/aliases. Perhaps tabs on steroids, a big ol’ pot of default email addresses you can use that automatically sort, the world is our oyster!  

Why this potential fatigue? Because email is all the rage (and has been for a while) and with the push for more and more companies to be accessible online, email continues to swell. Which means it’s harder and harder to manage our inboxes and sort through the absolute must haves from the “I’ll go hunting for you when I have time (or money.)”  

We’ve already seen this with Gmail’s tabs, Yahoo’s sorting features for shopping, aliased emails and secondary emails. But even with that, it’s still a plucky ton of email. Maybe by 2025, one of the services will come up with a more formalized way to do this while also keeping the core email protected (not just from the onslaught of email), but the potential phishing and spoofing concerns that come with data breaches (Apple’s doing this with “Hide My Email.”)  

It’d be nice to know that only the email you use for 1:1 is out there with friends and not tied to the last 60 places you purchased from that could be in the news next. Hmmm, maybe the next offering should also include a way to update these customized email addresses across all accounts…

What about email do you see as a nice-to-have for now, but feel will be considered table stakes by 2025?

Sticking to the deliverability and compliance side of things (first-party data and data analytics is a no brainer), authentication will forever be top-of-mind. I wouldn’t even be surprised if we start to think about new ways to better identify an email’s authority and what we have today will be the foundation.
Even today, Gmail is tightening up what they do with mail they receive that is unauthenticated. At some point, it may be an unofficial requirement to not only be authenticated, but use branded authentication. Right now the lack of that often leads to spam folder placement. This may move to a flat-out block.
Will it be in 2025? Probably not. It takes a long time to move the needle in the email world. DMARC alone was published as an RFC specification in 2012. It’s more than 10 years later and there are still a lot of senders that either don’t have a record or don’t pass the authentication and alignment checks. So, we “baby-step” our way to the door and start with SPF and DKIM, then branded SPF and DKIM, then DMARC, and then whatever is next.

What do you hope or wish to see change within email by 2025?

I wish for the entire marketing world to understand what it means to have consent. And, because I’m dreaming now, I hope by 2025 the US will be on the way to finalizing a federal bill around data handling and consent. For now, consent is already table stakes. Yes, you can find “success” with the loosey-goosey consent models relying on whether or not it’s legal. But consent is not just about what is legal, but what is acceptable in the eyes of those receiving mail.
This is why so much cold email lands in the spam folder. It’s why marketing mail can suddenly land there. It’s why ALL mail is capable of landing there. Your customer can withdraw consent at a whim’s notice, and if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss the signs when they are approaching that exit off your program’s email highway. It’s better to give them a nice, smooth exit then leave them scrambling to find it…at that point they may be speeding straight towards the “this is spam” button.

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