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The Case for Fewer Emails

Ever since Microsoft updated Hotmail with new tools that allow users to segment email marketing messages, marketers have been watching to see how the change will impact open rates. It is still unclear whether the new tools have had a significant impact on open rates, but the change has led to some marketers reconsidering the timing of their emails.

A Spike in Response Rates

Envelopes.com is segmenting out this population to see how these customers are responding to messages, according to Direct Marketing News. "From a marketer's standpoint, it is a challenge because we want to get our customers' attention, and it is harder to do that if these messages are going into a separate box," Laura Santos, marketing manager at Envelopes.com, tells the publication.

One result from Hotmail's new tool set is that companies might see a spike in response rates at certain times of the day, Janine Popick, founder and CEO of email service provider Vertical Response, told DM News.

Weekly Emails Preferred

One school of thought is that marketers should consolidate email messages to correspond with the time segments users are more likely to devote to reading them — a school of thought that dovetails with new research from MarketLive. Data from the "2011 Merchant Guide to Maximizing Sales" found that 39% of consumers would like to receive emails weekly from retailers with whom they have opted in.

This is more than double the the second-most preferred option, twice a month, and triple that of the third-most preferred choice, 2-6 times a week. In fact, more consumers would prefer to receive emails on a monthly basis (13%) than on a daily basis (8%).

Other Stats That Prove Less is More

Another indication that less is more, as far as email is concerned: Almost 3 in 5 American consumers report that they enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products, compared to just 43% who say they enjoy getting emails from brands on new products, according to a study by Epsilon Targeting.

75% of US and 61% of Canadian respondents to the survey say they get a lot more emails that they do not open, while 65% of American and 52% of Canadians say they get too many emails in one day.

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