An old digital format still has plenty of life left
MAY 27, 2008 – Compared with today’s virtual worlds, e-mail is solidly Web 1.0-an almost archaic communication channel.
Yet e-mail works, and marketers and advertisers keep putting it to new uses. Moreover, consumers�whose opinions are the ones that matter�genuinely like e-mail. Nearly three-quarters of adult e-mail users in North America said they used it every day, according to an April survey conducted by Ipsos for Habeas.
Two-thirds of adult respondents said they preferred e-mail for communicating with businesses. Just as many�and this is the important part�said they expected to still prefer e-mail five years from now.
“Far from being eclipsed by Web 2.0 and other emerging communications methods, consumer expectations suggest that e-mail will be the workhorse channel around which future online communications will revolve,” said Des Cahill, CEO of Habeas, in a statement.
That is not to say that consumers are ready for random, untargeted e-mail. Opt-in is still key. Consumers are even willing to help marketers custom-tailor their messages. More than 88% of respondents said they would like more choices in e-mail content and frequency, including options on advertisements and special offers.
So if e-mail is set to remain a consumer favorite for the next several years, that must mean e-mail ad spending will grow during that time, right?
Yes and no.
eMarketer predicts that e-mail ad spending in the US will hit $492 million this year, then increase by 55% to $765 million by 2012.
And while e-mail accounts for only about 2% of all online ad spending, eMarketer predicts that percentage will actually drop to only 1.5% of online ad spending in 2012, despite the growth in dollars spent. The amount spent on other formats will dwarf what is spent on e-mail, thanks to its low cost.
E-mail is cheap marketing. The pricing scales well, too: The cost of sending a million e-mails is little more than the cost of sending a thousand. However, this can also cause problems.
“E-mail is so inexpensive that it lulls many marketers into underestimating its influence on entire campaigns and a company’s brand,” said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.
The eMarketer Word-of-Mouth Marketing report will be published in July 2008.
By gathering the latest research and news from over 1,000 sources, eMarketer has established itself as the world’s leading provider of internet and e-business statistics. eMarketer’s Web site is at www.emarketer.com.