E-Mail, It’s Coming to an Inbox Near You

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MailboxE-mail is one of the most crucial components of online communication. On a daily- even hourly- basis, company advertisements, notes from colleagues, letters from friends, bills, alerts and even spam fill your inbox. Some organizations have turned completely to e-mail and left “snail mail” in the dust.

The Harte-Hanks Postfuture Index 2009-2010 examined the numbers on about 2.8 million e-mails sent by 100 companies in nine vertical industries and spotted some interesting trends.

Time is of the essence, and people are not reading as many emails as they used to. If you’re like most people, it’s likely you receive e-mails and send them straight to the trash without opening them. Last year, e-mail open rates declined, averaging 17 percent. But there’s good news for those in the pharmaceutical industry and the government, as their e-mails were the most commonly opened at 25 percent.

The study noted increased competition to grab readers’ attention among all the received e-mails. As capabilities and know-how grow, changing patterns in the use of text and imagery emerge. This affects e-mail open rates, but doesn’t raise the likelihood of a response, according to the study.

The unsubscribe option is handy for those of us who grow tired of irrelevant advertising e-mails. With this in mind, the study saw an improvement in unsubscribe rates because marketers have improved the quality of their mailing lists. Marketers are said to be recognizing the return on their investment into e-mail marketing and therefore are willing to spend time refining mailing lists down to relevant recipients to ensure continued success.

In a world where the number of emails you are sent is increasing and the number of emails you read is declining, what’s a marketing professional or business owner to do?

For help in reaching your audiences amidst the mass e-mail bombardment, turn to mRELEVANCE. The staff can offer advice and create a plan to suit your needs and make sure your e-mails aren’t the ones unopened and in the ‘Trash’ folder.