The rising popularity of social networking sites is beginning to impact the effectiveness of e-mail marketing, according to a report released by JupiterResearch.
"The Social and Portable Inbox: Optimizing E-mail Marketing in the New Era of Communication Tools" report found that emerging forms of communication are leading to diminished use of e-mail. Twenty-two percent of e-mail users said they use social networking sites instead of e-mail, while others have indicated that they used instant messaging (IM), text messaging, and cell phones in place of e-mail.
In 2007, 51 percent of e-mail users said e-mail inspired at least one online purchase, and 47 percent said the same for offline purchases. However, in 2008, the share of e-mail users fell to 44 percent for online purchases and 41 percent for offline purchases.
"Consumers’ confidence in e-mail has become shaken by irrelevant communications and high message frequency, which are top drivers of subscribers’ churn and channel skepticism," David Daniels, VP, research director and lead analyst of the report for JupiterResearch, said in a statement. "People receive such a high volume of e-mail that they are unable to pay attention to every message. It is so important for marketers to be relevant and succinct when they send messages to consumers’ inboxes."
The report was based on an online survey of 2,460 Internet users conducted in April.