August 29, 2007, 12:00 AM

List turnover is e-mail marketers’ biggest headache, survey shows

Nearly four out of 10 e-mail marketers said list turnover is their biggest challenge in an online survey conducted by JupiterResearch in June. Last year, marketers said analyzing campaign results was their most difficult challenge.

In a survey of 300 e-mail marketers about their challenges and the assistance they seek from e-mail service providers, 39% cite list turnover as their biggest challenge. The online survey was conducted by JupiterResearch in June and commissioned by e-mail services provider Silverpop Systems Inc.

Managing list growth isn’t surprising as a constant challenge for e-retailers, but its position at the top of the list is, says Elaine O’Gorman, vice president of strategy at Silverpop. “Growing a strong database of customers and prospects is obviously the core part of any strong e-mail marketing program. All elements of sophisticated e-mail marketing – segmentation, personalization, dynamic content, lifestyle marketing and more – depend upon the quantity and quality of the e-mail list.”

In last year’s survey, marketers said analyzing e-mail campaign results was their most difficult task.

This year’s study, “2006 E-mail List Growth Survey,” found that the tactics e-mail marketers plan to implement in the next 12 months are not necessarily those that others deem productive. For example, while 24% of respondents said they plan to deploy a viral marketing campaign, only 10% said such actions were “very successful.” And 15% of survey respondents plan to begin appending e-mail addresses to their customer lists, but only 4% of those who had tried this tactic rated it “successful.”

JupiterResearch also found fewer marketers challenged by analyzing campaign results, with just one in four saying it’s difficult compared to 32% who felt that way in 2006. “Reporting and analytic features of e-mail marketing systems have become much more sophisticated over the last few years,” O’Gorman says. “Marketers are now able to gain valuable insights into what’s working and can use that information to improve future campaigns,” she adds.

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