Direct marketers, forced to slash their ad budgets, turned to e-mail last year to help fuel their businesses, according to a new report from the Direct Marketing Association.
Of 700 companies that contributed to the study, 66% increased their e-mail sales in 2001. The average increase was 52.4%.
Medium-sized companies did best of all, with a 59.8% rise. Smaller firms were next at 42,8%, and large ones last at 47.1%.
Spending only 13% of their total annual marketing budgets, companies improved customer retention and generated 15% of total interactive sales, the DMA continued.
For smaller firms, e-mail promotions contributed 21.4% of their total interactive sales. The average for medium-sized firms was 7%, and for larger outfits it was 13.4%.
Almost two-thirds of the respondents said e-mail was their most effective retention tool. However, only 37% ranked it as their best acquisition method.
Smaller firms devoted 21.4% of their marketing budgets to e-mail. Larger firms allocated 13.7%, and medium-size companies spent 6.2%.
Most respondents identified e-mail as a cost-saving medium. Eighty percent said they used text, and 66% used HTML.
A full 66% said they rely on direct clickthroughs to judge a campaign’s effectiveness. In addition, 54% use direct links and 40% use embedded HTML code.
Almost two thirds are able to manage their e-mail technology inhouse.