eView: The Incredible Shrinking E-mail List
The future couldn’t look brighter for e-mail -- especially in the retail industry. According to Shop.org’s “State of Retailing Online 2008” report, online retailers participating in the study rated e-mail to house files as their No. 1 marketing tactic. Ninety-three percent surveyed said they plan to give e-mail even higher priority in 2008.
Also good news -- an April 2008 study from Merkle titled “View from the Inbox 2008,” shows that consumers have an increasingly more positive view of e-mail. Of the more than 2,500 consumers surveyed, 88 percent reported that they feel mostly or completely in control of their inboxes -- an increase of nine points from 2004. Fifty-eight percent polled said they believe e-mail is a great way for companies to stay in touch with them, as opposed to only 45 percent in 2005.
This is all clear evidence that the e-mail marketing channel has not only matured, but also plays a crucial role in the marketing mix for all types and sizes of businesses and organizations. Another development we’ll be seeing more of is what I call The Incredible Shrinking E-mail List. Yes, indeed -- e-mail lists are getting smaller, and the trend will continue. That’s very good news for marketers, consumers and business.
After all of the articles, white papers and reports about the importance of growing your e-mail list, how can dwindling lists be good news? And how and why is this happening?
We can find some answers by taking another quick look at Shop.org’s “State of Retailing Online 2008” report. In addition to the strong findings in support of the e-mail marketing channel, the survey findings also indicated some changes in marketers’ e-mail tactics. Fifty-eight percent of the retailers participating in the survey said they segment their e-mail lists based on preferences and purchasing data, with 67 percent reporting that segmentation is very effective. Marketers are taking note of the important role segmentation plays in improving e-mail targeting and relevance. As a result, e-mail campaigns are becoming more strategic. Instead of one-to-many e-mail blasts, marketers are sending to smaller, segmented lists based on recipients’ stated preferences. Marketers also are sending to smaller lists segmented by demographic, behavioral and transactional criteria.