Spam or not: Relevancy and trust hold the key

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Marketers considering new or increased investment in e-mail marketing should not be concerned that the consumer's inbox is saturated. A recent independent survey of consumers commissioned by GOT Corp. has found that two-thirds of people read the marketing e-mails they receive.

When savvy consumers today look at their mailbox, they can quickly determine what is spam and what is not. Over time, consumers have seemingly developed an internal filter to censor which marketing dialogue is important enough to open, and which messaging is not.

The survey reconfirmed that creating a trusting relationship with customers is a critical aspect of a successful e-mail marketing campaign. Sixty-six percent of the people surveyed wanted marketing e-mails that are personalized to their interests. Seventy-seven percent are opening marketing e-mails from sources they know and trust.

Clearly, consumers want relevant information and content that talks to them personally. One-to-one marketing is the current industry mantra and for e-mail marketers this means investing in trust and relevance.

Online, trust starts right from the get-go when the consumer opts-in and builds over time as the buyer and seller's relationship get stronger. For the marketer, this means constantly reinforcing the identity and credibility of your company at every turn - the use of welcome e-mails and dynamic content to recent subscribers, for example.

Relevance is all about creating respect: honoring the consumers' opt-in preferences and always keeping the context of the moment in mind, understanding that what a subscriber deems relevant today could and will change tomorrow.

Context can depend on demographics, purchase history or time of year. For example, consumers may welcome weekly gift ideas in the holiday season, but might consider them spam in January.

There are many self-serve e-mail tools on the market today, and it has never been easier for marketers to build trust and create relevance through one-to-one e-mail.

While there's no denying that e-mail sensitivity is still an issue, there's never been more openness among consumers to receiving good e-mail. This is good news indeed for online marketers.

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