October 11, 2007, 12:00 AM

Marketers fail to spend enough on e-mail marketing efforts, study finds

Despite the importance marketers put on e-mail for achieving strategic goals, few companies are appropriately investing in the channel, according to a new JupiterResearch report. The study was commissioned by StrongMail Systems Inc.

Despite the importance marketers put on e-mail for achieving strategic goals, few companies are appropriately investing in the channel, according to a new report from JupiterResearch. The study was commissioned by StrongMail Systems Inc.

74% of marketers say e-mail is an important tool for customer-service communications and 59% say it is important for promotional marketing, according to the study. More than 50% of marketers also viewed it as the central driver of increased revenue and improved customer retention.

Yet, 27% of marketers budget $250,000 or less for e-mail marketing technology, while 33% budget between $250,001 and $1 million, JupiterResearch found. In addition, most companies have yet to deploy a commercially available enterprise-class e-mail system, with 33% of the companies surveyed using a homegrown application for their e-mail marketing needs.

“Homegrown solutions are typically based upon e-mail servers and appliances that are ill-equipped to provide the application functionality, including deliverability and frequency controls, targeting and measurement insight, that commercial applications provide,” the study says.

One-third of the executives surveyed worked with an outsourced provider, and 30% use on-premises packaged applications, according to the study.

“Given the disparate manner in which e-mail is currently managed as well as the paltry budget dollars that are often assigned to this critical messaging medium, marketers must work to centralize their efforts as well as align infrastructure and labor resources to work with the channel,” JupiterResearch says.

JupiterResearch surveyed 200 e-mail executives in April 2007 for the study.

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