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E-mail remains strong despite challenging economy

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Dallas—E-mail click-through rates rebounded in the first quarter, and open rates increased for the second time in the past four years, according to marketing services company Epsilon in its “Q1 2008 U.S. Email Trends and Benchmark Results” report released Tuesday.

Click-to-purchase rates dropped from 6.4% in the fourth quarter last year to 3.2% in the first quarter this year.

Although a drop in the conversion rate is normal after the holiday season, this decline was larger than anticipated, likely a reflection of the struggling economy, Epsilon said.

Both revenue per e-mail and number of orders per e-mail delivered decreased as well, although median order size remained constant, meaning that e-mail can deliver a healthy return even in an economy in a downturn, according to the report. E-mail is currently driving an average of 16 cents in transactions per message delivered.

The quarterly analysis is compiled from aggregate data from the more than 5.8 billion e-mails sent by Epsilon in this year’s first quarter across multiple industries and clients.

—Carol Krol

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