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Email marketing does not always enjoy the best of reputations. Sometimes, it is lumped together with spam, despite the fact that properly handled email advertising messages will only be sent to individuals who have subscribed or otherwise approved the receipt of these emails.

As a recent study demonstrated, however, consumers are generally pleased to receive marketing messages from firms they are interested in.

Happy to receive
The study, conducted by Research Now and sponsored by Blue Kangaroo, included more than 1,000 U.S. adults. The results suggest that email marketing remains popular among consumers. More than a third of those surveyed said they had “very high interest” when it comes to hearing about deals concerning their shopping interests the web. Slightly fewer participants indicated they had “high interest,” and approximately one-quarter had “moderate interest.” Only 7 percent had “not much interest.”

Speaking to ClickZ, Nick Weir, chief executive of Blue Kangaroo, explained that timing and a thorough understanding of the target audience are both critical for effective email marketing.

“Consumers expect a good offer at the right time, or they are more willing to move on to another brand,” said Weir, according to the news source.

When asked how they feel about receiving weekly marketing emails in their personal inboxes, 40 percent of respondents said they enjoy getting lots of these types of messages, making this the most popular response.

Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed indicated that discount offers, newsletters and other email marketing messages go directly to their personal email accounts. More than 40 percent of participants said they opened and read the majority of the email marketing messages they received, while 30 percent said they did not open most of their received messages, but did carefully peruse the subject lines.

Subject matter
This last point is particularly relevant for email marketers. An effective subject line can be the difference between an ignored email message and a read one. The question is how to create powerful, engaging subject lines.

A recent MailChimp study may provide some answers. This report analyzed 40 emails and found that those featuring direct, straightforward subject lines were opened more frequently than those that were vague or mysterious.