Email marketers are excited about recent industry news from research company Smith-Harmon: Retail email volume increased 12 percent from 2008
to 2009, with an amazing 37 percent two-year increase from 2007 to 2009. However, while this increase is substantial, experts are predicting a break-even or decrease in the coming years.
“Retailers have been increasing contact frequency for several
years running,” says Ed Henrich, Vice President at Responsys. “Sooner or later
it will flatten out. I think 2010 is when we will finally start to see
segmentation and analytics start to reduce contact frequency.”
An interesting trend in the Smith-Harmon report is the dramatic
volume increase of Saturday emails in November and December. Retailers’ habits
indicate they used the weekend window to get special offers out during the
winter holidays. While the current trend is that most emails get sent out on
Fridays, the most popular day of the week to send does not mean the best day to send your email. Continually monitor your data to understand your
audiences’ open/click rates and determine what works best for them.
While the entire picture here is painted quite positively with
this increase, it also indicates that it is more important than ever to keep
your email communications targeted to an audience truly interested in your
products/services, and relevant to their needs. With the increase in email
volume, readers will be more apt to hit the delete button if they do not
recognize your email or are not interested in your offer.
Another strong consideration is the number of emails you
distribute. Bombarding your audience with emails will hurt you more than you
think. According to the CMO Council, 22 percent of email recipients said they
made their decision to stop doing business with a company because they received
too many emails from them, and an additional 41 percent would consider stopping
purchases from companies sending too many emails.
Bottom line: if you don’t have an important message or offer,
don’t send it.