Spam: E-Marketing's Alter Ego

If you think you're getting spammed now, just wait. In a report entitled Marketing and Branding Forecast: Online Advertising and E-mail Marketing Through 2007, Jupiter Research says the average consumer will be bombarded by more than 3,900 spam-email messages annually. It's also no surprise that companies will spend gobs on email marketing campaigns, from $1.4 billion this year to $8.3 billion in 2007. What are consumers to do? Simple. Delete. "Consumers have learned to deal with 'spam' the same way as junk mail. They delete it before reading the messages they actually want to read," said Jared Blank, senior analyst at Jupiter Research, in a statement. "A growing number of individuals will begin using separate email accounts and email filters set up specifically for dealing with 'spam' and other unwanted mail." The age of email has dawned rapidly. The average user received 3.7 emails per day last year. This number has shot up to 6.2 emails today. Moreover, Jupiter Research predicts that the average online user will be exposed to 830 marketing impressions online per day. The total email marketing volume is growing at an amazing 25 percent annual clip. The final analysis, of course, is that e-newsletters and marketing emails will lose their luster -- that is, messaging and branding effectiveness. But this won't slow down marketers' affinity toward email campaigns. On the contrary, increased competitiveness will drive down the cost of sending out (and tracking) marketing emails, according to Jupiter Research. All of this bodes well for CRM, as marketers turn to technology to better personalize and target email campaigns. "The economic slowdown of the past two years has forced once free-spending companies to scrutinize marketing budgets more closely to justify their overall expenditures," said Blank. "As a result, budgets are under the microscope, and marketers are demanding more bang for their buck. Successful email marketing campaigns can no longer consist of blast messages to massive lists, but instead must directly target the specific interest of the individual consumer." While better targeted emails improve open rates, marketers still must find creative ways of getting their messages across within the email paradigm. To this end, marketers are looking toward rich media and HTML. According to Jupiter Research, text emails will continue to constitute the majority of emails until 2004; but, in general, HTML messages receive a better response rate from consumers. Rich media will take a bit longer to catch on, comprising roughly 20 percent of email spending in 2005 and growing to 25 percent of the market by 2007.
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