While 57% of consumers claim to have made purchases as a result of receiving marketing e-mails, nearly half say that they have stopped doing business with companies that demonstrate poor e-mail practices, according to a survey by e-mail marketing agency, Quris.
This latest research is part of a series of white papers from Quris's The View from the Inbox, and is based upon survey responses from 1,684 e-mail users in the United States. The latest study suggests that the temptation to send out 'just one more e-mail' is often a double-edged sword, risking putting customers off instead of increasing sales.
Attract or repel?
One challenge e-marketers face lies in predicting which type of behaviour each additional e-mail they send out will drive. To ensure that an e-mail marketing programme will drive and reinforce 'positive' behaviour, there is a need to monitor each consumer's level of engagement with e-mail campaigns over time by examining their history of opening e-mails, clicking on links, and making purchases, rather than simply tracking response rates to individual campaigns.
According to Quris, measuring engagement and how it changes over time - effectively its momentum - is one of the best predictors of future behaviour. Depending on how engagement momentum is changing, marketers can segment and target customers based on key behavioural variables (such as the frequency of mailings, topical relevance, content quality, and privacy).
What it means to CRM
"In 2003, we see online channels joining traditional offline channels as a key driver of customer relationships," said John Funk, CEO for Quris. "In the traditional offline world the customer is often a lot more transparent. A bricks-and-mortar retailer can typically see if a customer is uninterested or unhappy and can take action."
But, in the online retail world, managing customer relationships often needs a deeper understanding of the consumer's behavioural patterns to pick-up on the nuances of whether they are disengaged or dissatisfied. The new research shows that, if you miss those nuances, the customer may not be happy with simply unsubscribing from your e-mail campaign but they may defect completely.
The white paper has been made available by visiting the Quris web site.