Media Buyers Prefer Quality over Quantity

E-mail users with inboxes brimming with spam may find this hard to believe but only 1 percent of media buyers claim to send unsolicited bulk email. Legitimate marketing messages come from 95 percent of media buyers who say they practice permission-based email marketing.

These findings come from an extensive report by Opt-in News that covers the email marketing industry from 1999 to the first quarter of 2002.

“The research has been in demand for sometime,” said John Rouse, analyst for Opt-in News. “We’ve put a lot of effort into collecting industry information and publishers and advertisers will definitely benefit from this knowledge.”

Of the 200 U.S. media buyers that were surveyed, 64 percent favored the double opt-in method for gaining permission; 31 percent preferred the single opt-in email marketing process; and 4 percent selected opt-out or pre-check data collection.

Opt-in News projects that non-permission-based methods will become obsolete in 2-3 years, as media buyers will demand a higher return on investment (ROI) and privacy concerns will dictate opt-in methods as the industry standard.

According to the report, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of those surveyed indicated that audience interest is the most important form of profiling when planning business-to-consumer (B2C) email campaigns. Demographics earned top ranking for 18 percent and 5 percent selected geography as most important.

However, for business-to-business (B2B) email marketing campaigns, the numbers are nearly reversed: 67 percent choose demographic and geographic targeting as most important and 33 percent felt that audience interest was a priority.

Where are media buyers going to locate their audiences? Opt-in News finds that more than half (53 percent) of all media buyers use search engines to locate third-party email list rentals from managers, publishers or brokers. More than a quarter (27 percent) of the respondents rely on e-zine and direct mail ads; 11 percent use industry specific directories; 5 percent turn to portals; and 4 percent had other methods.

The search engine of choice for media buyers was Google with 33 percent of the votes, followed by Yahoo (24 percent), and Lycos (18 percent). Smaller numbers relied on Ask Jeeves, Overture, and Dogpile.

Opt-in News collected the independent research from direct marketers, advertising agencies, and corporate media purchasers via email, telephone, fax and Web-based surveys. Other significant findings include:

  • Almost half (47 percent) of media buyers surveyed prefer cost-per-click pricing options when purchasing opt-in email ad space.
  • 59 percent of media buyers receive less than 3 percent click-through rates on opt-in email campaigns.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) feel that email is the most responsive form of marketing available, garnering better results than television, radio, print and direct mail.
  • 54 percent of those that participated say that they primarily rely on Web sites for email marketing news and information; 43 percent use newsletters; and 3 percent count on radio, television and print.
  • While many media buyers purchase email lists, 71 percent claim that list counts given by opt-in email brokers are accurate only some of the time and 26 percent say the list counts are never precise. A meager 3 percent believe that the figures are always correct.

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