January 26, 2011, 3:43 PM

Marketers plan to boost their e-mail marketing budgets

60% of marketers plan to increase their e-mail spend 10% or more this year.

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Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages nearly everywhere they turn—from social media to text messages to display advertising. That makes it increasingly difficult for marketers to make their messages resonate with potential customers, according to a new report.

Despite the challenge, 60% of marketers plan to increase their e-mail spend 10% or more this year, according to the report, “Email Marketing: Customers Take it Personally,” by the Aberdeen Group’s Chris Houpis. That’s because personalized e-mail messages can leverage historical interactions with a customers, making e-mail a basic building block for the majority of marketers. In fact, 83% of respondents said e-mail marketing was a fundamental marketing channel, ahead of social media (54%), call center (38%) and mobile (15%).

Key to e-mail’s effectiveness is its ability to speak directly to a specific consumer. For instance, e-mails with specialized offers to high-value customers have an 18% open rate compared to 13% for non-personalized messages. The click-through rate for personalized e-mails is 13% compared to 7%, and the conversion rate is 12% compared to 7%.

“In a world where a consumer can delete an e-mail in nanoseconds, personalization has never more imperative than it is to e-mail,” says Houpis, in the report.

The report suggests several steps retailers can take to improve their e-mail marketing efforts:

  • Use multivariate testing of the effects of different subject lines.
  • Adjust e-mail marketing content regularly and frequently, making content more interesting and relevant thus increasing the chances it is opened and clicked on.
  • Regularly remove hard and soft bouncebacks to make campaigns more efficient.
  • Segment recipients into groups to ensure consumers receive appropriate messages.

Aberdeen conducted the survey of 528 marketers in October.

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