E-mail marketers in the 21st century face a paradox. On one hand, both business partners and customers increasingly demand that their vendors communicate with them electronically. Fifty-one percent of business users cite e-mail as the most effective communication method. Almost two-thirds of people who use e-mail at work say they prefer it for making arrangements and setting appointments over talking on the telephone or communicating in person.
On the other hand, e-mail users are straining against a flood of messages. They are responding by reading a decreasing percentage of their messages and are often deleting any messages from unknown senders.
Companies face a dual challenge: To satisfy customer needs, they must migrate their communications to e-mail, yet they are having to work harder and harder to get their messages delivered and read.