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Email is at once a ubiquitous and embattled medium because its dependability and trustworthiness are under attack by spam, viruses, phishing, and often inexact ISP filtering; yet it could get worse if email marketing is not centralized within the enterprise, according to a StrongMail/JupiterResearch executive survey.

Some 93% of executives surveyed say their company has deployed some type of email marketing solution, and permission email marketing now accounts for 27% of the email that consumers receive in their primary personal inboxes – up from 16% in 2003, according to the study.

JupiterResearch’s “Maturation of Email: Controlling Messaging Chaos Through Centralization” provides insight into the current state of messaging deployments and argues that as the use of email is increasing, few companies control message frequency, analyze subscriber behavior, and coordinate their messaging initiatives across channels and business units – and as a result marketing strategies will be undermined to the detriment of brands.

Among the findings of the report:

  • Some 38% of executives said their email messaging endeavors are centralized in one location, with 24% citing that six or more departments manage it separately.

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(Takeaway: Such a lack of coordination and centralization often leads to over-mailing subscribers and messages that lack a consistent tone in branding and style.)

  • 44% of executives are aware that email would be more effective if it were managed from one platform.

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  • Just 26% agree that it is easy for them to understand how often they are communicating with their clients.

(Takeaway: Companies must begin to align their email spending and infrastructure to not only leverage additional cost efficiencies but also allow for more rigorous control of messaging across the enterprise.)

Email challenges:

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  • One-third of executives surveyed work with an outsourced provider, and 30% use an on-premises packaged application.

(Takeaway: Given the disparate ways email is now managed and the paltry budget dollars often assigned to what is a critical medium, marketers must align infrastructure and labor resources to work with the channel.)

Email budget allocations:

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  • Most companies have yet to deploy a commercially available enterprise-class email system, with 31% of companies surveyed using a homegrown application for their email marketing needs.

(Takeaway: Homegrown solutions are typically based on email servers and appliances that are ill-equipped to provide needed functionality, including deliverability and frequency controls, targeting, and measurement insight.)

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