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E-mail advertising set for record year

E-mail advertising is set to replace traditional postal direct marketing campaigns according to research by the Gartner Group. It says that e-mail campaigns are cheaper to run and have a higher success rate than junk mail sent through the post.

E-mail advertising is set to replace traditional postal direct marketing campaigns according to research by the Gartner Group. It says that e-mail campaigns are cheaper to run and have a higher success rate than junk mail sent through the post.

Gartner’s research shows that revenue from e-mail advertising is set to hit US$1.26 billion in 2002, building on last year’s figure of US$948 million. By 2005, e-mail advertising revenue is predicted to reach US$1.5 billion.

“Direct mail has reached its peak and will account for less than 50% of mail received by U.S. households by 2005, down from 65% in 2001,” says Denise Garcia, research director for Gartner Group. “As e-mail use, familiarity and trust increases, consumers will become more comfortable with accepting advertisements through their computer.”

The success of e-mail marketing campaigns is easier to measure than that of postal campaigns. An average direct mail campaign takes four to six weeks to complete, but by e-mail the same campaign can be done in just seven to ten business days. Responses to direct mail take an average of three to six weeks, while responses to e-mail take an average of three days.

“Within days of launching an e-mail campaign, response can be measured and actions taken. Marketers can gauge response quickly and react by making adjustments on an e-mail campaign before delivery of a direct mail campaign is complete,” Garcia observes. “Thus, the entire cycle time of the e-mail campaign from creation to delivery and response is one-tenth the time of traditional direct mail.”

Furthermore, e-mail campaigns are cheaper to run than direct mail operations. E-mail costs between US$5 and US$7 per thousand while direct mail costs between US$500 and US$700 per thousand.

Gartner also found that e-mail campaigns that are permission-based or include opt-in marketing strategies have the highest response rates.

“Advertisers must begin to incorporate these types of personalised e-mail strategies in conjunction with their traditional direct mail efforts in order to maximise the reach, penetration and effectiveness of their campaigns moving forward,” says Garcia.

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