E-mail marketing practices, metrics and performance among marketers is more varied than expected, says a new DMA study.

The study, "Actionable Insights into E-Mail Marketing," was conducted in November 2006, and attributes much of the variation among different practices, metrics and results to marketers' level of self-reported competence or expertise level. Responding companies were categorized as advanced, intermediate or beginner, as well as, marketer or service provider, business-to-consumer, business-to-business, or both and by company size.

The study found that although three in four e-mail campaigns aim at customer retention and one in four are used to acquire customers. It also found that frequency is greater in 2007 than in 2006, which was greater than in 2005.

Especially popular acquisition practices include company announcements, which 68 percent of respondents mail, company newsletters, which 65 percent mail, and special discounts and one-time offers, which 63 percent of respondents send of both respectively.

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