Opt-In E-mail Still A Great Communication Investment

Online marketing company Merkle’s report “View from the Inbox 2009” shows that e-mail continues to be a popular and effective marketing communications channel. E-mail offers a low cost-per-contact and the ability to provide direct, measurable results. However, communicators need to be aware of continually changing user attitudes and behavior regarding e-mail.
In boxes are crowded with marketing messages. Marketers must adapt to be effective.

Get Permission

Permission-based, or opt-in email marketing, is an important element in the unfolding strategies.

  • In 2008, 59 percent of all email users spent 20 minutes or more with permission e-mail weekly, with just over one- quarter spending an hour or more weekly
  • Permission e-mail accounts for about a quarter of all time spent with e-mail, second only to its primary function of communicating with friends and family
  • There is an inverse relationship between the e-mail types that are most valued and the quantities consumers receive; the biggest reasons subscribers choose to opt-out of permission e-mail continue to be lack of relevance (cited by 75%), followed closely by sending too frequently (73%)
  • Slightly over half of respondents said that they were less willing to sign-up for email communications when compared to just a few years ago – showing that they are exercising caution

Users most value e-mails that pertain directly to them such as transaction-related confirmations and account summaries. With all other e-mail subject matter, be cautions about sending too much too often. Subscribers choose to opt out of e-mail programs

  • percented irrelevance ( 75% )
  • too frequent (73%)

Think Mobile

11 percent of all respondents check e-mail on mobile devices, a gain of five points since last 2007.

Pay Attention to Your Own Behavior

Reports like this help us all keep current on trends. But, you don’t need an annual national report to stay on top of your own opt-in e-mail efforts. To do that, you just need to pay attention to your subscibers and to your own in box management behavior.

  • Let subscribers give you a reason when they opt out
  • After each e-mail is sent, look for subscrition number impacts – up or down
  • Look for subscriber patterns – are there certain times of the year or days of the week that your audience is tuned in to you and your messages?
  • Each time you opt-in to a list for business or personal reasons, ask your self why; do the same when you opt out. Listen to yourself and make sure your list does the things that attact you and not the things that repel you – your users are people too.