DMA: Use of E-Mail Increases Sales

The Direct Marketing Association said yesterday that e-mail to existing customers proved to be one of the most effective ways for marketers to reach customers and Web site visitors during the past year, with 59 percent of respondents reporting increased sales.

The organization also found that 55 percent of respondents engaged in e-commerce reported a profit.

According to the DMA's fifth annual publication of “The DMA State of the E-Commerce Industry Report 2001,” nearly two-thirds of the 59 percent of respondents that reported increased sales in 2000 relied on direct click throughs, and 54 percent used unique links to track the effectiveness of their e-mail campaigns.

The study also found that while 80 percent of marketers still rely on regular e-mail and 73 percent rely on plain text messages, 62 percent are beginning to adopt HTML in their e-mail promotions. However, only 12 percent said they rely on rich media and only 8 percent on streaming media for their e-mail marketing campaigns.

“An e-mail campaign with the proper privacy and permission etiquette will drive traffic to a store or Web site, add to a company's bottom line and increase good will among customers,” said H. Robert Wientzen, the DMA's president/CEO. “Unfortunately, many consumer PCs still aren't equipped with browsers that support all the bells and whistles marketers are accustomed to using.”

The study also found that while 55 percent of direct marketers engaged in e-commerce are earning a profit, 55 percent of those not currently turning a profit expect to do so in 2002. Because they anticipate their revenue to grow, 75 percent of respondents plan to increase their overall investment in interactive media and 83 percent expect it to have a positive effect on their revenue next year.

The DMA said the Internet is expected to generate more than $30 billion in sales in 2001, with total direct and interactive marketing accounting for $1.86 billion in the United States this year.

“Companies are increasingly using the Web to improve the bottom line of their businesses,” Wientzen said.

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