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EMAIL NEWS: Incorporating social media a priority for cash-strapped email marketers

Email marketers continue to feel the economic pinch but are determined to incorporate social media into email campaigns in 2010 according to a survey by Silverpop.

The email marketing and marketing automation solutions provider found nearly nine out of 10 email marketers said the recession continues.

Over a third (36 per cent) said the recession would not end "any time soon", while 20 per cent felt the economy would not improve before the fourth quarter of 2010.

Almost half of respondents (47 per cent) said their budgets would stay the same as 2009. However four out of 10 marketers reported that their email budgets in 2010 would increase.

More than half of survey respondents (52 per cent) said increasing customer loyalty was a top email marketing goal for 2010. Overall, 51 per cent of respondents want to drive incremental revenue with their email programme.

However 37 per cent of respondents said the biggest challenge in the coming year will be "inbox clutter."  A further twenty per cent of email marketers said they will struggle with "providing timely and relevant content."

To ensure messages are anticipated and welcomed, 27 percent of marketers surveyed plan to incorporate behavioural targeting into email campaigns for the first time in 2010, and 26 per cent will begin to use surveys to gather useful customer data.

Incorporating social media and SMS into email is likely to become more popular with 84 per cent of email marketers planning to include both in future email campaigns. 

"Linking email to popular social networks can be a very successful strategy," Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop said. "If the messages are timely and relevant, recipients will share them with their networks, and the opportunity for additional exposure increases exponentially. And as customers become more mobile, their marketing must reach them in more timely ways and through channels such as SMS."