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2006 Holiday Email Survey

The following is an excerpt from an article in MediaPost's latest issue of Email Insider:

A recent Return Path survey analyzing consumer use of e-mail during the holiday shopping season showed that consumers respond to e-mail when they have an ongoing positive experience with the sender and have received value from their e-mail program in the past.

While that should be a no-brainer, the same survey also showed that most consumers feel that less and less of the e-mail they get is relevant or wanted--so clearly we're all doing something wrong when it comes to executing e-mail campaigns.

More than 60 percent of consumers opened e-mail from senders they knew and trusted. Even more impressive, 47.7 percent actually looked for the e-mails that they liked in the past. Retailers have to expend serious time and energy to end up in that camp.

The following are some basic reminders--as reported by consumers themselves--to help reinforce what you already know about doing e-mail right.

Looks and charm matter. Next time someone tells you not to bother polishing an e-mail campaign, consider these consumer stats:

  • 42.9 percent open based on subject line
  • 25 percent open for discounts
  • 22.9 percent open based on preview window contents
  • 20.9 percent are motivated by free shipping

Substance leads to results. As you pay attention to what your audience wants and needs, you'll see your response rates climb. Return Path's 2006 Holiday Email Survey showed:

  • 50.2 percent took advantage of e-mail offers
  • 40.9 percent comparison shopped with e-mail
  • 30.9 percent used e-mail for gift ideas
  • 29.3 percent used e-mail to get to familiar web sites

It is worth noting that 42.2 percent said e-mail had no influence whatsoever--they must be the ones who receive too much worthless e-mail in their inboxes.

Breakups are painful. When consumers decide they don't like you anymore, it isn't always pretty. Not getting a second chance is the least of your worries.

  • 68 percent delete unwanted e-mail
  • 33.6 percent report senders as spammers to their ISPs
  • 30.5 percent unsubscribe

That middle statistic is worth noting. Once they hit the "this is spam" button, even those who pine for you can't see your offer because the disgruntled have gotten you blocked at key ISPs. Talk about a buzz kill.

Read the full article here.

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