August 5, 2004, 12:00 AM

Their inboxes jammed with spam, consumers still want e-mail with value

Home Depot and Bombay Co. continue to rake in e-mail addresses from customers who want their newsletters.


In spite of the amount of e-mail spam that consumers are receiving, they are still eager to receive e-mail that provides information they are interested in or that meets their needs. Example:, No. 33 in Internet Retailer’s Top 300 Guide to online web sites, launched a Garden Club on a Friday and by Saturday morning had received 25,000 sign-ups for its e-mail newsletter. The response was beyond Home Depot’s expectation, Shelley Nandkeolyar, vice president of interactive marketing and e-business told the eTail 2004 East Conference this week. “It brought our system to a standstill,” he said.

Six weeks later, Home Depot’s Garden Club e-mail newsletter list had grown to 90,000. And they’re active, Nandkeolyar said. “The rate of questions they send in is more than we’ve ever seen,” he said.

Another example: Bombay Co.’s e-mail list has grown to 750,000 and continues to expand. “We haven’t run into the top of the usage curve yet,” Matt Corey, vice president of e-commerce, said. “Our database continues to grow.

E-retailers continue to refine their e-mail marketing campaigns. Mitesh Patel, director of software and technology at, for instance, told attendees that tests the impact on response rates of personalization, subject lines, sent-from lines, reminder e-mails and time of day/day of week mailings. One size does not fit all, he said. “It’s a pretty basic list, but it changes based on the customer segments,” he said.



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