February 27, 2004, 12:00 AM

Spam fears don’t trip e-mail marketing in Q4, DoubleClick reports

Retail and catalog e-mail experienced click-through rates in Q4 of 7.5%, up from 7.1% a year earlier, reports DoubelClick. Consumer products and services marketers’ open rate increased from 9.7% to 10% in the quarter.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

In spite of widespread spam concerns, e-mail--especially e-mail sent by retailers and consumer products and services marketers--performed well as a marketing medium in the fourth quarter, e-mail marketing services company DoubleClick Inc. reports in its latest E-mail Trend Report. Retail and catalog e-mail experienced click-through rates in Q4 of 7.5%, up from 7.1% a year earlier. Consumer products and services marketers’ open rate increased from 9.7% to 10% in the quarter.

Travel marketers’ click-through rates increased from 5.8% to 7.6% and business services and products marketers’ rate increased from 6.9% to 8.9%. Total click-through rates rose from 8% to 8.4%.

E-mail delivery rates--e-mails sent minus bounce-backs--rose to 87.3% in Q4 2003 versus 86.5% in Q4 2002. Open rates also showed a slight increase from 36.4% to 36.8% in the same time period.

Retail and catalog customers that track purchase activity through DoubleClick’s DARTmail product saw 3.2 purchases from every 1,000 e-mails sent during the fourth quarter of 2003. The average order size was $100 and the revenue per e-mail delivered was 26 cents.

"The Q4 trend data reflects the healthy online holiday shopping period," said Eric Kirby, vice president and general manager of strategic services at DoubleClick. "It is especially encouraging that click-through rates rose in sales-focused categories such as retail and catalog and consumer products and services."

The DoubleClick E-mail Trend Report contains aggregate data from DoubleClick`s DARTmail e-mail delivery technology. The Q4 data is based on over 2 billion permission-based e-mails from hundreds of DoubleClick clients.

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