US media buyers prefer legitimate email marketing, says report

 A report by Opt-in News on the email marketing industry from 1999 to Q1 2002 concludes that only one per cent of media buyers claim to send unsolicited bulk email. Legitimate marketing messages, says the report, come from 95 per cent of media buyers who say they practise permission based email marketing. The report predicts that non-permission-based methods will become obsolete within three years, as media buyers will demand a higher return on investment (ROI) and privacy concerns will dictate opt-in methods as the industry standard.

200 US media buyers were surveyed before the report was compiled, out of which 64 per cent favoured the double opt-in method for gaining permission. 31 per cent were in favour of the single opt-in email marketing process, while a mere four per cent preferred the opt-out or pre-check data collection.

The report, released recently, says that 77 per cent of those surveyed claimed that audience interest was the most important form of profiling while planning business-to-consumer (B2C) e-mail campaigns. 18 per cent of those survyed ranked demographics as the most important, while five per cent selected geography as the most important. The scenario is completely different for business-to-business (B2B) e-mail marketing campaigns, however. 67 per cent choose demographic and geographic targeting as most important, while 33 per cent felt that audience interest was a priority.

Opt-in's study found that more than half (53 per cent) of all media buyers use search engines to locate third-party e-mail list rentals from managers, publishers or brokers. Google was the favourite (33 per cent), followed by Yahoo (24 per cent) and Lycos (18 per cent). 27 per cent of the respondents rely on e-zine and direct mail ads; 11 per cent use industry specific directories; 5 per cent turn to portals; and 4 per cent rely on other methods. Opt-in's respondents ranged from direct marketers, advertising agencies, and corporate media purchasers via e-mail, telephone, fax and web-based surveys.

Opt-in also found that almost half (47 per cent) of media buyers surveyed prefer cost-per-click pricing options when purchasing opt-in e-mail ad space. 59 per cent of media buyers receive less than three per cent click-through rates on opt-in e-mail campaigns. 73 per cent feel that e-mail is the most responsive form of marketing available, garnering better results than television, radio, print and direct mail. 54 per cent of those who participated said that they primarily rely on websites for e-mail marketing news and information; 43 per cent use newsletters; and three per cent count on radio, television and print.

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