E-mail is now firmly entrenched as an indispensable part of many people's lives, both for business and for social use. And over the past couple of years, a growing number of companies have begun to use it in a variety of ways to communicate with their customers.
But how exactly is e-mail being used, and what are marketers' perceptions of e-mail marketing? To find out, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in conjunction with Experian, has conducted the first-ever UK survey of e-mail marketing. The survey was issued by ContactMail, a permission-based e-mail marketing service, to 2000 DMA members and Experian clients. It generated 402 responses, including 119 from DMA members and 283 from Experian clients.
The results show that the majority of companies are using e-mail for marketing purposes, but it only accounts for a small proportion of the overall marketing budget in most of them. While 60% of respondents said that they currently use e-mail marketing, compared with 37% who do not, only 8.5% of respondents said that e-mail accounted for more than 20% of their marketing budget. Fifteen per cent said that it accounted for between 11% and 20%, while 76.5% claimed that e-mail marketing represented less than 10% of their total marketing budget.
On a more encouraging note, 87% of respondents said they anticipate using e-mail more in the future, compared with 4% who do not, and 9% don't-knows.
Even among those not currently using e-mail as part of their marketing plans, only 15% are not planning to do so at some point during the next two years.
Among those using e-mail as part of their marketing activities, the most appealing aspects of the medium are its low cost (83%), speed of delivery (71%) and ease of delivery (59%). On the other hand, those discouraged from using e-mail for marketing purposes cite three principal reasons.
Fearing the perceived intrusiveness of e-mail by customers (30%) is top, while 17% are put off by the opt-in guidelines, and 11% admit that they would not know how to put together a campaign. …