Long before myriad of apps took over itunes, there was talk of the sticky app. In Web 1.0 days, techies would wonder "What will be the one application that will have the 'it' factor?" Email would often come up. Then it would be quickly dismissed--many believed it had to be more complicated or futuristic than that. Fast forward to 2011, email is still going strong. In fact, according to a recent Technographics report from Forrester, consumers are now less likely to delete messages without reading. They are also less likely to opt out or wish they had opted out.
Longitudinal data from the report shows a steady decline in what email marketers would consider bad behavior. In 2006, 73 percent of consumers deleted most email messages from advertisers without reading. This incidence dropped to 63 percent in 2008 and to 59 percent in 2010. While one-half (49 percent) of consumers wished it were easier to unregister from email offers in 2006, only 28 percent shared the sentiment in 2010.
While these are good news for e-CRM planners, email could still use the power of organic word of mouth. Majority of consumers do not forward promotional emails. In 2006, some nine percent said they sometimes forwarded promotional emails to their friends. This incidence climbed merely to 12 percent in 2010. In the age of tell-a-friend systems such as AddThis, ShareThis and Gigya, the likelihood to forward an email could have been higher.
Since the days Microsoft encouraged friends to tell friends to get hotmail accounts, email remains a strong and viable marketing channel. It is increasingly on target. Marketers still need work on delivering value and telling amazing stories to convince their audiences that emails are indeed worth passing along.