May 2, 2002, 12:00 AM

Most European marketers still see e-mail as cheap communication

Just 27% of European e-mail marketers say the potential for high ROI is a reason to use e-mail. They’ll lose out unless they leverage campaigns for greater value, says Jupiter.


Europeans with online access already receive an average of 95 marketing e-mails per year, and that’s expected to increase to 250, or about 48 billion across Europe, by 2007. Yet most European e-mail marketers value e-mail primarily as simply a cheap way to communicate with customers and have yet to leverage its potential to deliver conversions, drive customer loyalty and provide ROI, according to new research from Jupiter Media Metrix.

“Many companies see only the cost-efficient delivery of messages as an advantage to e-mail and do not value or measure the level of response it generates,” says Jupiter analyst Staffan Engdegard. That’s reflected in what they spend on e-mail: while an estimated 94% of U.S. marketing executives polled by Jupiter said they spend more than 1% of their marketing budget on e-mail; only 54% of their European counterparts reported doing so.

Only 27% of European e-mail marketing executives polled by Jupiter cited the potential for high ROI as a reason to use e-mail; 31% of the marketers cited e-mail as an effective way to cross-sell and up-sell customers; 45% said they use e-mail because of its high response and conversion rates. By contrast, 79% of the marketers said low distribution cost was a primary reason to use e-mail, while 64% cited low campaign production costs.

Though e-mail marketing is still in its early days in Europe, marketers who persist in valuing e-mail only as a means of inexpensive message delivery will lose out as the volume of commercial e-mail received by Europeans rises, Jupiter says. “They risk losing the in-box competition because the number of relationships consumers are willing to maintain will decline,” Engdegard says. “E-mail marketers must focus on improving the value to consumers to cement their relationship with consumers, and refine messaging tactics to drive and improve their return from e-mail campaigns.”


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