While increased spending on Web, data quality initiatives and search marketing is not surprising, an increased investment in e-mail goes against its image as a media “problem child” because of all the issues surrounding spam.
“E-mail is the most effective and lowest-cost channel for customer retention and loyalty, and I think marketers see the opportunity to further optimize their marketing budgets through this channel,” said Richard Merrick, managing director of Harte-Hanks’ Postfuture e-mail marketing subsidiary.
E-mail marketing was cited by 72% of respondents as an important piece of the overall marketing mix, according to the report. “This channel is not viewed as an experimental channel but a serious part of the marketing mix,”
Spam is still perceived as a challenge, but it is becoming less of an issue for many marketers. Just over half (56%) said they are very concerned or extremely concerned about controlling spam.
“The spam problem is abating,”
The increased interest in e-mail can also be tied to the growing popularity in using online statements and communications. A
“The biggest problem with e-mail in general is providing a value proposition significant enough to get someone to agree to opt-in,”
Data security and privacy were the two biggest areas of concern cited by marketers. Sixty percent of marketers are very concerned or extremely concerned about data security, and 59% were very or extremely concerned about ensuring privacy to end users.