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Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of marketing and content at the Data & Marketing Association, says that marketers began questioning direct mail’s endurance in 2007. That year, Statista reports that smartphone sales jumped 70% from the previous year to $8.7 billion. At the same time, the volume of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service began to plummet: In 2006, people in the U.S. sent 213.1 billion pieces of mail, according to USPS; by 2017, they were sending 149.5 billion pieces each year, a 29.9% decline. By this point, smartphone sales had reached $55.6 billion. The price of postage and paper had skyrocketed, as did the number of internet users—everything seemed to hammer a nail into direct mail’s coffin.
The most advanced email marketing services offer custom workflows where you can specify triggers based on actions (such as opening an email or making a purchase) or on inaction (such as ignoring emails). With these services, you can also set up a series of emails (such as tutorials) to be sent to segments of users, and you can pause or stop a campaign at any time. You can also move contacts into new segments once they have completed tutorials.
Due to the massive growth of the Internet, most countries have passed legislation to prevent companies from sending unsolicited emails. These laws determine what is and what is not considered acceptable email correspondence, and enforce restrictions on email communications. In the United States and Europe, for example, bulk email must contain an accurate from field and subject line, and the email content must include the sender’s physical address. In addition, a blast email must also offer its recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list — and such requests must be met within a specified period of time. As a result of these laws, it is very important for companies to maintain an updated list of subscriptions and cancellations at all times, and avoid sending out email that appears to be spam.
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An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]
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