E-mail needs to be more centralized: new StrongMail Jupiter report

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E-mail marketing needs to be centralized across all brand communications to increase consumer trust and avoid inbox saturation, according to a new report by Jupiter Research that was commissioned by e-mail marketing firm StrongMail.

The report, titled "The Maturation of E-mail: Controlling Messaging Chaos through Centralization" found that 93 percent of executives stated that their company has deployed some type of e-mail marketing and that permission e-mail marketing now accounts for 27 percent of the e-mail consumers receive in their primary personal inboxes, up from 16 percent in 2003.

"Fifty three percent of consumers opt out of e-mail when content no longer interests them and frequency seems to be a sizeable issue with these consumers," said David Daniels, analyst at Jupiter Research. "One of the benefits to centralizing your e-mail platform is that you can control your permission policy and control your frequency of mailings across all of your brands."

The report found that almost an equal number of respondents to the survey cite multiple user support and enterprise coordination of e-mail mailings among the most important challenges they face when working with e-mail. Despite the fact that e-mail deliverability issues can be remedied through infrastructure such as regular mailing list hygiene practices, this must be executed across a business. Executives are challenged in optimization partly due to the lack of centralization and messaging coordination.

"There is complacency with e-mail because the cost is so cost effective, so businesses are not reinvesting in testing and we believe that e-mail is not as cost effective as people think without testing, because there is a lot of waste and inefficiency in the channel."

While executives are challenged with coordination, the report also found that 54 percent of respondents view e-mail as a central driver to increase sales and revenue. But marketers need to be relevant to keep this channel producing.

"The top reasons why consumers leave an ISP to go to another ISP this is the notion of e-mail bankruptcy and consumers feeling that they are spending too much time on this channel," Daniels said. "This is the ultimate threat to the channel. We need to control the frequency and relevancy of their communications, if not then they have no respect for the ultimate relationships we are trying to build."

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