Just an Online Minute... The Zero Sum Game

We've long known that out of the hundreds of channels and thousand of websites available to consumers, they generally focus on 10-15 channels and a comparable number of websites. Now it looks like the same applies to email.

The average consumer, according to a new Quris study, only engages in 10-20 email relationships with companies at once.

Quris, an email solutions agency, says consumers are "approaching a zero-sum game when committing to maintaining email relationships with companies."

In particular, the majority of those email users have now been online for several years. As a result, they are increasingly sophisticated about what they like and dislike in email marketing programs, and most have already committed to 10-20 permission email relationships with trusted companies (the overall survey average was 16). Consumers, however, still value and respond to the channel, but with added higher standards. Also, the research show that by getting the right mix of quality, frequency, and relevance, companies can actively break into and stay active within the inner circle.

"We would all love to have dozens of friends, but our time is such that we can manage only a select number of good relationships that we can consistently engage in," said John Funk, CEO of Quris. "For every new relationship a consumer may opt into, they almost have to stop reading another that is no longer interesting, coming too frequently or otherwise no longer making the cut to keep their attention. It is therefore imperative that companies focus on offering highly relevant and targeted email programs."

These findings are based upon survey responses from 1,684 email users in the United States. Email marketers take note.

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