Consider if you will resources, time and financial investment given to attracting new web traffic. Banner advertising, link exchanges, search engine ratings, affiliate schemes and list goes on. Yet when it comes to retaining a customer’s future business or even a return visit, we simply hope that they will opt-in to a newsletter mailing list and everything will be okay.
Of course truth of opt-in email marketing is far from okay. For a start, people, especially private individuals, frequently change their email address. For many people, email addresses are a disposable accessory, which should be replaced every few weeks when Spam starts rolling in. I don’t know about you, but I have enough trouble keeping up with email changes of my friends and family, let alone a list of a few thousand customers and potential customers.
Typing “email marketing” into Google will return literally thousands of software products and services all promising to make your email campaign more successful and slick. Of course it doesn’t matter how much or how little you expend on your email newsletter, it will still be one subject line of possibly hundreds, all screaming for attention.
Average email click through rates fell from 5.4% in 1999 to just 1.8% in 2003 (Source eMarketer) 27% of emails never get opened and of those that are opened only 23% are read thoroughly (Source: J Neilsen) Average open rate for B2B emails has fallen by 42% since 2001 (Source eMarketer)
Although such statistics make grim reading, worse is yet to come. Some industry experts are predicting a total collapse of email infrastructure within next five years due to shear volume of traffic. A technology dating back to 1960’s, email was developed as a means for geeks to communicate with other geeks, about something they had seen in alt.freakygeek newsgroup. It was never designed to cope with demands of mass marketing which have been inflicted upon it since arrival of WWW. So with that in mind, it is something of a miracle and a credit to technology of yesteryear that it continues to work at all.
Recent research commissioned by Yahoo revealed that average British PC has nine “sick days” a year, two more than average for human workers. Six of these days are lost battling against Spam, while a further three are taken up combating viruses.
The Yahoo findings went on to reveal that nearly half of British computer users find dealing with junk e-mails more stressful than traffic jams and majority want service providers to act.