Email Marketing: Forecasts & Metrics

Yesterday morning Wall Street Journal published a brief article on the future of e-mail marketing, quoting Forrester Research’s data that by 2014 the U.S. spend on email marketing will reach $2 billion (with a growth rate of close to 11% a year). The opening remark of that WSJ article was, however, quite surprising to me. It read:

There’s no end in sight to the scads of spam email infiltrating consumers’ inboxes…

Sounds like WSJ equates all e-mail marketing with spam regardless of the fact that even a part of their own article talked about marketing by “messages that recipients have given their permission to receive” (an area that has some of the best growth potential). Spam, on the other hand, is by definition unsolicited e-mail.

Incidentally, earlier this month, MailerMailer announced the release of their Email Marketing Metrics Report. The report is based on a sampling of over 300 million email messages across 21 industries, and it definitely something I recommend downloading (it’s available for free here). Here are just a few snapshots of the things that I myself have found to be of interest:

— 1 —

Send your emails earlier in the week (Monday has proven to be the best day for email campaigns). Also, avoid large file sizes, formatting problems, broken links, excessive number of images, and irrelevant content.

— 2 —

The shorter the subject line, the better. Succinct subject lines “continue to result in dramatically higher open and click rates”. In your subject lines you want to avoid using “FREE”, “!!!”, “$$” and other words/characters commonly associated with spam.

— 3 —

While the popular belief is that the less links you include in the body of the email, the better, the rule should be exactly the contrary: the more, the merrier. Research shows that “to increase the number of clicks” it is best to “link to a variaty of content and include multiple links to your destination pages”.

More great information may be found in the original 38-page report which is available for download here.

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