EROI study finds relevance, deliverability key to e-mail marketers

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Relevant content and deliverability are the most important factors to marketers creating e-mail campaigns, according to a new study by e-mail marketing firm eROI.

The "Q2 2007 Email Marketing Survey" by eROI looked at what marketers think is important when creating e-mail. It found that 87 percent of respondents think relevancy is important, and 81 percent found deliverability to have high importance.

"What we found most surprising is that marketers have been asking for advanced tools for segmentation, relevancy and targeting," said Jeff Mills, the report's author and senior analyst at eROI, Portland, OR. "But now that they are available, very few are actually using them now."

Sixty-nine percent of respondents feel that e-mail design reflect a brand image, and 59 percent stated that calls to action are important elements of e-mail marketing.

Interestingly, when broken down between marketers who use in-house design teams versus those who use agencies, the percentage of marketers who design e-mails in-house feel that calls-to-action and brand image are 50 percent more important than those who use agencies.

The study also found that marketers link e-mail deliverability to good rendering. Sixty-eight percent of marketers code e-mail to work across various e-mail clients like Outlook 2003, Hotmail/MSN, Gmail and Yahoo.

Despite the fact that most e-mailers value relevant content, only 55 percent of respondents properly segment e-mail lists, according to the study.

But expect this to change in coming months, as marketers begin to adopt more sophistication in the tools they use to manage e-mail campaigns.

"We expect to see marketers adopting some of these advanced tools presented to them and also, they will start utilizing agencies more and more as getting to the inbox and being relevant is more and more difficult each day," Mr. Mills said. "So, the trend will be to leverage the expertise of agencies more and begin using available tools to more effectively communicate the right message to the right audience."

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