Worldata Predicts E-Mail List Price Plunge

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E-mail list pricing could drop as much as 25 percent in the next three to six months because of changes in the way service providers handle HTML e-mails that will cut into deliverability rates, Worldata Inc. said yesterday.

Consumer Internet service providers already have begun filtering out graphics associated with HTML e-mails, creating a situation in which users must affirmatively decide whether they wish to view graphics in an e-mail, said Ray Tesi, senior vice president at Worldata. In the next 12 months, Microsoft will release a new version of Outlook that filters out HTML graphics by default, cutting into delivery rates to corporate addresses.

Worldata, Boca Raton, FL, made the prediction in its Summer 2005 Worldata Price Index. Switching to text e-mails may provide relief, but consumers soon could associate commercial text e-mails they receive with spam that evaded filtering, Tesi said.

"We've got to look at more text messaging, at least in the short term, to make sure our mail is deliverable and read," he said.

As of July 2005, permission-based business-to-business e-mail lists, the highest-priced category, dipped by $8 per thousand to $281/M versus a year ago. Permission-based business-to-consumer e-mail, the second-highest-priced category, also decreased $8/M to $175/M.

Worldata also predicted price increases for consumer magazine lists. Performance by lists composed of agency-sold names has trailed expectations, resulting in higher demand for direct-to-publisher names, Worldata said.

Databases/master files showed the largest increase of any category, rising $6/M to $131/M. The increase reflects a trend in direct mail to test database effectiveness as mailers approach the midpoint of 2005, Worldata said.

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