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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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Email - Still Important, Still Embraced

I've long been a believer in asking consumers their opinion. You'll gain knowledge by listening.

Actionable data is easily mined from answers. That's the basis for why I created Audio Graphics' "Data Edge" survey system in 2001, along with our method for surveying internet radio listeners. The former lets a radio station sell the power of surveying its audience to clients; the latter gives great insight to "who" listens to radio on the internet, and why.

"The objective for the radio industry is to uncover ways in which it can best "use" the internet." We just tabulated data from our 53th survey of internet radio's audience. This survey's intent was to uncover how closely listeners are attached to email: when it's first read, on what device, how many legitimate emails are received each day.

Looking at the responses, you can't help but think that the radio industry needs to put more energy behind its email strategy.

Radio, used with the internet, can be an email address vacuum that quickly builds a mailing list of people anxious to read your words.

1,020 persons responded to Survey 53. (See Survey 54, currently being served, with support from Borrell Associates.)

There are good reasons why email can be an effective, low-cost choice of internet initiatives used in the radio industry. (It will also be the least time-consuming aspect of communicating online.)

In the 18-54 demo group, 69% say "home" is where they read their first emails of the day.

Want to plant your station's call letters in front of their eyeballs, or generate revenue through emailed ads? Do it first thing in the morning. Have this information/entertainment sheet waiting in the subscriber's inbox.

Where do you read your first emails of the day?

Clutter is not an inbox issue. We asked how many legitimate emails are received each day. Most 18-34 year olds only deal with 0-5 emails. In the 35-54 group, most max-out at 11-20 emails of legitimate content each day. Based on these numbers, if you have something to say or something that they want to see, email communication appears effective.

Last (a point I consider extremely valuable to the design of an email communique), 80% of recipients 18-54 report they most read emails on a PC, giving you a large canvas to send a neatly designed HTML formatted email. Give the email content-layout thought. Once opened, it must be visually appealing to keep attention.

Push the demos to 45-55+ (what's becoming a primary demo set in the radio industry), and the number of those who read email using a PC monitor jumps 10 points.

The objective for the radio industry is to uncover ways in which it can best "use" the internet.

...It is a tool, which has parts that act as media (YouTube, Pandora, etc). Radio should be using the internet's parts better, such as social media, accountability, etc. For email, here is simple spreadsheet to get you started.

If a broadcast signal is used with that "tool" called the internet, then the radio industry carries a distinct advantage.

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