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The Wall Street Journal reports on a study by Responsys saying that “last year, the nation's top 100 retailers by e-commerce revenue sent recipients an average of 177 emails apiece, up 87% from 2007 ... Some of the most aggressive emailers—including Neiman Marcus Group Inc.—sent each recipient more than 500 emails apiece in 2011, Responsys said.”

Now, the Journal writes, “amid signs that the sheer volume of email is starting to turn customers off, some retailers have begun pulling back, reducing their mailings and fine-tuning their marketing tactics.”

There’s good reason: “A study of its retail clients by email marketing firm Harte-Hanks found that since 2007, the rates at which recipients open retail emails and click on links have declined. In the first six months of 2007, consumers opened 19% of the retail emails they received and clicked through to the website 3.9% of the time. By the first half of 2011, those numbers shrank to 12.5% and 2.8%, respectively.”
KC's View:
The problem, of course, is that online sales are increasingly important to retailers - nine percent of total sales in 2011 - and emails are seen as a critical way of driving that traffic. And online sales are growing faster than sales in bricks-and-mortar stores.

But I gotta tell you...this would be the fastest way to kill all this momentum.

Remember...this is the lesson from The Descendants, which turns on whether a Hawaiian lawyer and landowner, played by George Clooney, should sell pristine island land that has been in his family for generations to developers who will turn it into an enormous commercial property. It is a question that every business owner faces at some point - Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do something.