Advertisers will utilise email marketing strategies more during the recession as budgets shrink and consumers spend more time online, with 59 per cent spending more than 20 minutes a week looking at email marketing messages.

With Internet marketers putting the squeeze on budgets the search for the silver bullet to attract new customers continues.

E-mail is attractive to marketers but the perception from those on the receiving end may be changing as well.

The biggest reasons subscribers choose to opt-out of permission email continue to be lack of relevance (cited by 75 per cent), followed closely by sending too frequently (73 per cent).

More than half of respondents to the Merkle survey said that they were less willing to sign-up for email communications when compared to just a few years ago - showing that they are exercising caution.

Consumers have become more welcoming towards email communication from marketers, according to research by customer insight specialist G2 Data Dynamics.

Despite email marketers regularly facing media claims of spamming, some 57 per cent of consumers agree that email is their preferred channel of communication, with 60 per cent of men veering towards email compared to 54 per cent of women.

Post was the second most popular choice of marketing communication with 34 per cent of respondents opting for traditional mail over its online equivalent.

In fact, 18 to 24-year-olds seem to prefer a combination of email and postal communications, with almost half (47%) of respondents in this age group favouring each of these channels.

Email marketing solutions provider Constant Contact 's senior vice president of global market development, Eric Groves, has suggested that as companies are forced to become more resourceful, the relatively inexpensive tactic of email marketing will come to the fore.

He said that the challenging economic climate has caused businesses to pick their heads up and evaluate the effectiveness of all of their spend.

Source: UTalkMarketing