While checking my RSS feeds today, I couldn't help but notice the interesting contrast between this post by B.L. Ochman detailing the recent "trip to e-mail hell" as a result of a mass mailing sent out by PR Week Magazine and this post by Rich at Copywrite, Ink. about a report from the Direct Marketing Association saying that direct e-mail is one of the marketers most successful tools and results in a high return on investment (approximately $45 for every dollar spent). The high returns probably don't take into account the cost of paying for computer support for nearly everyone on the mailing list as a result of problems faced
The high return on investment probably also doesn't take into account the thought that for every customer that responds positively to the mailing there are probably five more that become annoyed with your brand. As Rich writes, "while more than 70 percent of marketers said they intend to use e-mail to enhance consumers relationships, one wonders if consumers share their point of view."