Holiday E-mail Volume Up, But Campaign Sizes Down

Nov 29, 2006 9:28 PM  By

(Magilla Marketing) While e-mail marketers have begun this holiday season by predictably sending more messages, individual campaigns are going out significantly smaller, according Elaine O’Gorman, vice president of strategy for e-mail service provider Silverpop.

The trend seems to indicate that e-mail marketers are increasingly segmenting their e-mail files and targeting their efforts, she says.

The volume of e-mail Silverpop is sending on behalf of clients has been rising similarly to the rate at which it rose last year, says O’Gorman. But the number of campaigns the company is sending out on behalf of clients has been growing faster. The circulation for individual campaigns is 20%-30% smaller than last year, she estimates.

The smaller-mailing trend seems to have begun about six months ago and then really kicked in just before this quarter. “We saw a fairly significant change right at the end of the third quarter going into the fourth quarter,” says O’Gorman.

The trend indicates that more marketers may be taking a longer-view approach to their e-mail programs, she continues. “We’re seeing a lot of studies in the marketplace that tell us that e-mail drives in-store [purchases] and that it drives nontrackable Web traffic and that e-mail drives branding. That said, you will never prove to anybody that that they’ll sell more by sending less e-mail.”

Many e-mail marketers have understood conceptually for some time that sending fewer, more highly targeted messages works better over the long haul, but it has taken some time for them to marshal the resources to put that understanding into practice, O’Gorman says. “Even though it costs a little more to produce that type of a mailing, in the end it pays off,” she says. “Although it’s difficult to gather empirical evidence to support exactly why the number of mailings is going up faster than the mailing volume, anecdotally, better segmentation and tighter messaging are probably primary drivers.”