E-mail marketing isn’t an open and shut case

I was surprised by some of the views expressed in your article about ISPs adopting measures to block unwanted e-mails (MW May 12).

Neither e-mail, nor any form of direct marketing for that matter, is the exact science that was implied in the article. Issues of not accepting cookies, blocking images and so on have always existed in e-mail marketing, yet the medium remains significantly more measurable and accountable than offline marketing.

Although figures of open rates are useful and would be limited by this development, the real test of an e-mail is the response and conversion rate,

and to measure whether the clients’ campaign objective was met, which ultimately should be to report the whole user experience as a result of the e-mail.

How many companies determine this just by measuring an open rate? I hope exceptionally few.

So the logical starting point for analysis will shift to an individual’s arrival at a site, through to conversion: measures that are not affected by the mentioned changes.

To say the growth of e-mail marketing has been almost exclusively down to transparency and the ability to calculate return on investment is too simplistic a statement and argument. The speed of campaign turnaround and delivery, low entry cost, ability to personalise the content and the quality of behavioural, media and transactional data against which to segment are just some of the other reasons why E-consultancy predicts that the UK e-mail marketing industry’s revenues are set to rise by at least 25 per cent in 2005 (MW May 19).

E-mail marketing is here to stay. The only real change is that people who used to just measure “simplistic” metrics are now going to have to roll up their sleeves and work harder and smarter.

Garry Lee

Head of client services

RedEye International

London WC1

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