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BizReport : Email Marketing : March 05, 2009

Merkle: Consumers value relevant and timely email

Americans are willing to receive emails from more companies than ever before, according to a new study from Merkle, providing opportunities for email marketers to get their messages heard.

by Helen Leggatt

The average number of companies from which Americans choose to receive email has risen from 9 to 10, found Merkle. However, despite this slight rise, there are conditions. Too many emails and a lack of relevance will turn consumers off, found the study.

Merkle's 2009 email marketing study, "View from the Inbox", shows that the foremost reasons subscribers choose to opt-out of permission email continue to be lack of relevance (75%), followed by sending emails too often (73%).

The low cost and high measurability of email marketing makes it a popular choice with marketers in an economy where accountability if king. This, however, is leading to overcrowded inboxes.

To stand out in a crowded inbox and gain consumer trust, marketers need to ensure their emails are highly relevant and provide value. Merkle's study found that consumers will actively ensure they receive emails from companies they know will provide them with value and relevance. So much so that 53% of consumers who have opted-in to receive commercial email have added at least one company to their address book.

"Our annual study shows that marketers must be careful not to overstep their boundaries and stick with relevant communications and appropriate timing or risk losing the trust that they have established with their customers," said Lori Connolly, director of research and analytics in Merkle's Interactive Solutions group.

Tags: address book, email, email marketing, inbox, Merkle, opt-in, relevance, value

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