E-Mail Marketing Helps Increase Sales: DMA Survey

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Two-thirds of the companies surveyed by the Direct Marketing Association said their sales in 2001 increased as a resulting of using e-mail marketing. Medium-sized companies reported the best results, with 59.8 percent seeing an increase from last year. Large companies reported a 47.1 percent increase and small companies said their sales rose 42.6 percent because of e-mail promotions.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents said their sales remained the same and 5 percent said sales decreased.

The results are part of the DMA's State of the E-Commerce Industry Report 2001-2002, which is expected to be released April 11. The DMA, along with the Association for Interactive Marketing, surveyed about 700 companies.

The study found that of the companies polled, 15 percent of their total online sales came from e-mail based promotions last year.

"Increasingly, e-mail marketing campaigns are being used as an important retention tool, in many cases offsetting more costly traditional channels," said H. Robert Wientzen, the DMA's president/CEO.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said e-mail marketing was their most effective customer retention tool. Also, 37 percent said e-mail was an effective customer acquisition tool.

While 13 percent of respondents said they allocated their total marketing budget to e-mail marketing, smaller companies generally allocated the highest percentage, 21.4 percent. Large companies allocated 13.4 percent and medium-sized companies allocated 7 percent of their total marketing budgets. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they were able to manage their e-mail marketing in-house.

The DMA survey also reported that plain text is the most popular form of e-mail marketing, with 80 percent of respondents saying they use it. HTML-based messaging was used by 66 percent of the respondents, rich media by 12 percent and streaming media by 7 percent.

Of the companies surveyed, two-thirds said they used clicktroughs to track the effectiveness of their campaigns. More than half, 54 percent, said they employed unique links as a tracking method. Another 40 percent said they used embedded HTML code, 29 percent used unsubscribes from targeted e-mail lists, 27 percent used coupon codes and 14 percent said they used banner ads.

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