E-Mail Marketing Cheap, But May Be Buried by Spam

E-Mail Marketing Cheap, But May Be Buried by Spam

A new survey of e-retailers by opt-in subscribers of IRNewsLink, the Internet Retailer newsletter, shows that 71% of online merchants attribute less than 10% of their retail web sales to the e-mail marketing they do.

Jack Love writes a summary of the findings, explaining that promotional e-mails must rise above an ever growing amount of spam to get noticed. He says that 68% of e-retailers are stepping up their e-mail marketing this year for two related reasons: their retail web businesses and Internet customer bases are growing and e-mail offers perhaps the best means for communicating with online shoppers.

Love notes that e-mail is seen as an extremely effective way of communicating with online shoppers, even if that communication does not result in a sale that can be attributed to an online sale. Furthermore, the low cost of e-mail marketing makes it an extremely "effective" sales generator measured in terms of return on investment, if not in absolute sales.

Other key findings from the survey summarized in the report include:

  • 49% of respondents say e-mail marketing is more effective than other forms of marketing of web sites; only 27% say it's less effective.
  • 57% report that e-mail marketing accounts for less than 10% of their online sales, while just under 10% say it accounts for 25% of web sales. By comparison, says Love, about one-third of all respondents to last month's Internet Retailer survey on search engine marketing attributed 30% or more of their web sales to SEM.
  • 56% of this group report that e-mail marketing generates between 10% and 25% of their web-based retail sales. That percentage response declines steadily for e-retailing groups which mail less frequently and drops to 15% for online merchants which e-mail their customers less than once a month.
  • 45% of respondents report that they send promotional e-mails out at the rate of only one per month or less.
  • 40% of e-retailers who send out more than one e-mail promotion per week report response rates of 5% or more.
  • 18% of online merchants who use e-mail marketing less than once a month hit response rates of 5% or higher.
  • With e-mailing frequency two to three times per month, 50% of survey respondents in that group say they experience e-mail response rates of 5% or higher.
  • Nearly 75% of respondents who report response rates of less than 1% also report conversion rates of under 2%.
  • 70% of e-retailers who report response rates in excess of 3% to their e-mail campaigns also report conversion rates of 3% or higher.
  • Almost 45% of respondents to the survey say the response rates to their e-mail marketing campaigns are climbing.

 Read more for full article with data listings

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