Ever increasing quantities of spam have done little to curb the success of email marketing campaigns in Europe, new research suggests.
Despite the annoyance caused by spam, UK users are still prepared to respond to more legitimate email marketing, with open and click-through rates holding up.
Click-through rates in the UK increased marginally to 9.6 per cent from 9.2 per cent in the third quarter, according to the latest European email trend report from web marketing firm DoubleClick.
Average open rates stand at 42 per cent in the UK, compared with 37 per cent in the US, although bounce rates remain the same at 11.8 per cent.
Sinead Deegan, marketing director at DoubleClick, said companies were being forced to adapt their email practices to deal with the increasingly complex mail environment.
"The results seem to show that clients' improved practices and smarter marketing habits are helping them keep ahead of these difficulties, a positive sign as we enter the crucial holiday season," she said.
Meanwhile, the growth in popularity of email marketing as part of a multi-channel strategy to build customer relationships has been highlighted by the 2003 email marketing survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association and email marketing distributor Experian.
The survey found that organisations are using email for more sophisticated and targeted purposes to maintain customer communications, and that response rates for email campaigns are improving. But there has been a 24 per cent decline in the use of email for targeting new business opportunities.
Of those who receive emails, three quarters respond to a message at least once. The majority of responses involve clicking on a link in an email to be taken to a website (95 per cent), while 47 per cent have forwarded the information to a friend and 39 per cent have purchased a product or service.
Phillip Singh, head of e-commerce at Experian, said: "Marketers have realised that email works better in some situations than others and we expect to witness even more sophisticated use of this tool over the next year as email becomes integral to multi-channel marketing strategies."
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