I was just thumbing through the recent Direct Marketing Association report, "The State of Retailing Online 2007." It's a great report filled with statistics from some of the most sophisticated marketers out there. One section really caught my attention: the comparison of email from 2005 to 2006. In every category, the effectiveness and scope of email marketing improved. Among the findings:
- Open rates went up from 23 percent to 26 percent despite the increased use of image suppression by popular email clients.
- The percentage of retail customers who have opted into the retailers' lists went up from 45 percent to 55 percent--clearly customers are buying into the value of email.
And, best of all, not only did the average size of the lists explode from 1.6 million names to 2.4 million names in 2006, but so did the average conversion rate--it went up from 5 percent to 6 percent.
This is great news for those of us in the email business. Our channel is increasing in usage while simultaneously increasing in effectiveness. I can only attribute this to the fact that marketers are really adopting the email channel and investing the effort to really make it live up to its potential.