“Engagement Marketing: Strategies for Conversion and Ongoing Customer Retention” is what it said in the programme.

It sounded safe enough, but as I delivered this presentation at Internet World last month, I wondered if the subject headings on Lines, Crunch, Breaking Habits and a 7 Step Programme (combined with some slightly edgy last minute PowerPoint images) were starting to make it sound more like a discourse on drug rehabilitation than on email marketing!

am addicted to these ‘lines’ though, I admit it! The traditional marketing paradigm of a horizontal line separating advertising and direct marketing is now better described in the digital era as a vertical line.

Acquisition is on the left, Retention is on the right and line between them is the point of Conversion. I’ve blogged on this before.

The ‘Habit’ reference was about breaking the cycle of acquiring the same customer over and over again.

This, like any good drug habit, is easily addictive but damaging to the (financial) health of any company (except of course the media owner providing the customer acquisition).

The Steps (all seven of them) outlined the actions you can take to ensure customers come back for more – without Google or your affiliate marketing company’s intervention.

Thinking about it, if you consider the low cost, high ROI and ‘turn on a pin’ qualities of email marketing, addictive tendencies are likely to manifest themselves in digital marketers everywhere.

Michael Weston is the MD of