Email marketing continues to grow, engaging users globally providing marketers an affordable and effective way to reach customers, maintain loyalty, inspire purchases and establish positive consumer brand perception. With over 4.4 billion email accounts in use today, email marketing continues to outperform display and search advertising. Email is the dominant form of online communication for citizens, businesses, and governments.
At the same time the levels of abuse and risks of fraud are undermining the vitality of this marketing channel. Users are becoming overwhelmed with marketing messages flooding their inboxes across multiple devices. In response some are self-imposing an email detox by abstaining from their inbox. This sensory overload or “email fatigue” can disenfranchise potential customers, thereby driving the loss of subscribers. Consumers are more sensitive than ever, often marking legitimate messages as spam, perceiving them to be irrelevant or arriving too frequently.The ubiquitous and open nature of email has also provided criminals with an ideal platform to perpetuate fraud, with upwards of 90% of today's email consisting of spam, phishing, identity theft attacks, attempting to capture personal and sensitive information, spread malware, and take-over a user's device.
As online publishers and advertisers are observing a rise in ad blocking and faced with concerns regarding the transparency of native advertising and issues of privacy. Email marketers need to heed these trends as they relate to the trust of the email channel. While ad blockers were first dismissed, today they are having a material impact to online ad revenues. This underscores the importance that email marketers need to put the consumer first, before trust in the inbox hits an inflection point.
OTA recognizes the critical role email plays in commerce and society. Since our formation over a decade ago, OTA continues to drive multi-stakeholder efforts to identify and advance best practices to help bolster the integrity of the email marketing channel. Today OTA publishes a set of recommendations that include the adoption of standards-based email authentication technologies, benchmark reports, unsubscribe audits and related best practices to curb email abuse, while enhancing the security, privacy and integrity of email.