E-mail Marketers: Your Message Is Undeliverable!

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googlemail.jpgADOTAS – E-mail marketers are going to have to step up their game — according to a new study, the industry is failing to keep up with changes online, and is losing more than half of the eyeballs it could be hitting.

The study, published by the Email Experience Council, found that image blocking has become more and more pervasive, with about half of all e-mail users suppressing images by default – and while the vast majority of e-mail marketers are aware of the problem, they haven’t put a plan in place to address the issue.

“The results of this study underscore the importance of proactively designing e-mail to compensate for image suppression,” Jordan Ayan, the CEO of SubscriberMail, the study’s sponsor, said in a statement. “Specifically, e-mail marketers must design e-mails to work with and without images present and test to ensure optimal image rendering. Marketers whose design accounted for image suppression reported impressive lifts in key performance areas—the results speak for themselves. Still, a significant percent of e-mail marketers realize this issue, yet fail to take action to address it.”

Two weapons in the fight against image blocking – HTML text and alt tags – are only used about 42% and 63% of the time respectively, the study found. The result: e-mails from 23% of e-mail marketers were 100% unintelligible and 77% were partially unintelligible when the consumer opened them.

Some companies are taking action – about 47% — by adding alt tags or a “click to view” link to minimize images above the fold. Of the 38% of those who tested the results of their changes, 32% saw more opens, 32% saw more click-throughs and 17% saw more conversions. About 47% witnessed at least a 10% improvement.

“E-mail marketing currently generates an estimated return on investment of $48.29 for every dollar spent on it, according to the Direct Marketing Association,” said Jeanniey Mullen, the founder and executive chairwoman of the Email Experience Council and chief marketing officer of Zinio, in a written statement. “We conservatively estimate that if all marketers optimized their emails for image blocking, e-mail’s ROI would jump to $52.69. Not paying attention to rendering impacts revenue directly.”

The EEC is an arm of the Direct Marketing Association, examined the e-mail design practices and performance of 104 online retailers. The study also includes the results of a survey of 472 marketers regarding rendering issues, conducted in conjunction with SubscriberMail, the study’s sponsor.

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