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					Vendor research The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message Delivery, And Email Effectiveness

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The ROI Of RendeRIng
Tactics To Improve Trust, Message Delivery, And Email Effectiveness

This is a vendor-sponsored JupiterResearch report specifically commissioned by Goodmail. JupiterResearch stands by the integrity of its findings and the validity of the methodology employed in this research study. However, this vendor-sponsored report should not be confused with independent research produced by JupiterResearch’s syndicated product line. This report is intended for use by the sponsoring vendor and may not be publicly disclosed, disseminated, used or relied on by others without JupiterResearch’s consent.

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Vendor Research

December 8, 2008

The ROI Of RendeRIng
Tactics To Improve Trust, Message Delivery, And Email Effectiveness
Email delivery and the issues related to content not rendering continue to challenge marketers and the channel’s effectiveness. A little more than half of business-to-consumer (B2C) promotional marketers cite email deliverability as their top concern, and a quarter cite images not rendering in email as their fifth-biggest challenge. Online users have yet to embrace the remedies to this problem within their email client — just 45% have added senders to the address book, and far fewer (28%) turn images on in their email client. This study illuminates these challenges and reviews the value and impact of using paid accreditation as a means to optimize mailings. Additionally, this study provides an understanding of content development costs and the tactics to recoup those expenses; it also reviews the attributes that make up trust.

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SUBJECT TO DISCLAIMER ON COVER For more information on JupiterResearch’s services, including syndicated research and custom research tailored to the specific needs of your business, visit www.jupiterresearch.com, e-mail researchsales@jupiterresearch.com or call 800 481 1212 (North America), +44 (0) 20 7903 5020 (Europe) or +1 212 389 2032 (rest of world). Reproduction by any method or unauthorized circulation is strictly prohibited. JupiterResearch’s analyst reports are intended for the sole use of clients. All opinions and projections are based on JupiterResearch’s judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change. Published December 8, 2008. © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness
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CONTENTS

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Table of contents
1 2 Executive Summary The Top Five Email Marketing Challenges

Table of Figures
1 3 4 6 7 8 10 11 12 The Top Five Challenges That Business-To-Consumer Email Marketers Cite The Issues Most Concerning Email Marketers Over The Next 12 Months Email Marketer Adoption Of Delivery And Rendering Remedies The Percentage of Online Revenues Driven By Email Marketing — AEMs And Un-AEMs Email Marketing Conversion Rates — AEMs And Un-AEMs Consumer Image-Rendering Behavior And Email Marketer Content Development Costs Campaign Performance Model — A Comparison Of Monthly Revenues And Profits Based On Email Marketer Type The Top Five Most Important Email Marketer Considerations When Selecting An ESP The Attributes Of Trust

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •1•

executive summary
Email delivery and the issues related to content not rendering continue to challenge marketers and the channel’s effectiveness. A little more than half of business-to-consumer (B2C) promotional marketers cite email deliverability as their top concern, and a quarter cite images not rendering in email as their fifth-biggest challenge (see Figure 1). Online users have yet to embrace the remedies to this problem within their email client — just 45% have added senders to the address book, and far fewer (28%) turn images on in their email client. This study illuminates these challenges and reviews the value and impact of using paid accreditation as a means to optimize mailings. Additionally, this study provides an understanding of content development costs and the tactics to recoup those expenses; it also reviews the attributes that make up trust.

email delivery causes and effects drive The Top Five challenges of Promotional marketers
fig 1 The Top five Challenges That Business-To-Consumer email Marketers Cite

Question asked: What are your greatest challenges when conducting email marketing? (Please select all that apply.) Source: JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) Selected Responses – Top Five Businessto-Consumer Marketers © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

Subscriber turnover and still-persistent list-hygiene issues drive delivery challenges, which in turn affect response rates and lead to a further need for marketers to optimize mailings. The lack of image rendering when that sometimes-optimized message is delivered exacerbates the problem.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •2•

The Top Five email marketing challenges
When asked to cite their greatest challenges with email marketing, the top five challenges emerged. Overall, 49% of marketers cited deliverability, a long-standing challenge. JupiterResearch estimates that the industry will waste $138 million in 2009 on emails that are sent but never delivered; this is 9% of the overall market spend on email marketing in 2009. Prior JupiterResearch studies revealed that delivery issues are driven by list-hygiene issues, which are often coupled with high subscriber turnover rates and a failure to implement existing authentication schemes. However, list turnover is the problem that is most visible and tangible to marketers, and it appears as their second-greatest challenge — with 36% of B2C marketers citing it. Seventeen percent of consumers create a new email address every six months, raising the number of dormant and bad addresses on marketers’ lists and thus affecting delivery and subscriber response rates. If bad addresses remain on active mailing lists, as nearly 40% of email marketers state they currently do, they will create additional hurdles and complicate email optimization opportunities; 29% of email marketers cited this as a problem, making it their fourth-greatest challenge. Marketers can’t fully realize optimization strategies unless the message is delivered, the basic best practices have been implemented, and the message is seen as the marketer had originally intended it to be seen. Twenty-five percent of B2C promotional marketers cite image rendering as a challenge, placing it at No. 5 on our list; this is clearly a big challenge and issue for email marketers.

marketers must explore The Value and impact of image rendering
Marketers must begin to explore the value of solving the image-rendering challenge; if they could eliminate only one of the top five challenges, image rendering would be a good place to start. They must also ask if it could affect adjacent challenges and, if so, what that would be worth. Given all the current issues that marketers must consider, the persistence of these challenges is understandable. Additionally, marketers’ concerns don’t stop at these large tactical challenges; the more time and attention they have to pay to these additional issues, the less time they have to spend on their optimization strategies.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •3•

restoring Trust To email Will allay The majority of marketers’ Future concerns
fig 2 The Issues Most Concerning email Marketers Over The next 12 Months

Source: Question asked: What issues concern you the most as they relate to the success of your email marketing initiatives over the next 12 months? (Select all that apply) Source: JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

In addition to the challenges that marketers face every day, they are also concerned with the following (see Figure 2):
•	 Increased	spam	and	phishing	attacks	(53%).	While the amount of spam reaching a consumer’s inbox has stabilized, it still accounts for 29% of daily messages in 2008. Phishing attacks are broadening in scale and boldness, affecting industries beyond banking to include retail, travel, and non-profit organizations. •	 ISPs	and	email	applications	also	blocking	email	images	(45%). A proven tactic that ISPs use to tackle these offensive and harmful unwanted messages is to block images by default. This message security tool seems rather entrenched in the vast tool kit that receivers use to thwart and manage the messages within their network. However, while limiting the ability to display images is done in the spirit of security, it also degrades the trust that consumers have in the messages that they receive. •	 The	erosion	of	consumer	trust	in	email	marketing	messages	(40%).	Without the ability to universally display a household brand image that embodies trust, the email user population will find it harder to trust and interact with messages, especially if the images are turned off and the sender address is obscured or unclear. Trust can be restored through the perception of relevancy, evidence of competence, and the impact that outside influences have on the broader understanding and perception of a brand, product, or technical solution as competent, honest, and delivering value. Tactics that improve relevancy and, ultimately, trust include audience segmentation and targeting via the use of dynamic content. However, to broadly restore trust in email, most consumers must trust the sender of the message and the content of the message. This is a task that needs both senders and messages to be authenticated and for images to fully render; these allow the consumer to begin to make an informed decision on what messages and brands to trust.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •4•

marketers must adopt Basic message-level certification
fig 3 email Marketer Adoption Of delivery And Rendering Remedies

Question asked: Which of the following tactics do you currently use (at least every other mailing) or which do you plan to start using in the next 12 months in your email marketing efforts? Source: JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) – Selected Tactics-Delivery/Render © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

In order to begin to restore trust with consumers, marketers have to implement, at a minimum, sender and message-level authentication; this will immediately help the ISPs distinguish harmful, unwanted email from legitimate, permission-based email (see Figure 3). While image-rendering remedies like asking subscribers to add sender addresses to their address book or to click on a link to view the message that they just received are necessary, they both require the subscriber to take another action before they even begin to contemplate the relevancy or value of the marketing message to them. These behavior-based hurdles are difficult to overcome. Such challenges underscore the need for marketers to implement authentication schemes, such as DKIM, SPF, and Sender ID, as they begin to establish the hook from which the marketer’s identity and reputation will hang.

message-level certification and accreditation are Usable remedies For rendering issues
While the aforementioned authentication schemes will help improve delivery if the basic best practices are adopted, they still won’t deliver the mechanism by which images are universally displayed. To solve this problem in today’s marketplace, marketers must be accredited — that is, they must pay an additional fee which ensures that messages are delivered and render correctly. JupiterResearch finds that this is becoming increasingly popular in the current environment: 28% of email marketing executives state that they are planning to implement email certification and accreditation within the next 12 months. Conversely, 33% of email marketers state that they are currently using fewer images in their email creative because of image-rendering issues. While removing or reducing image placement in email creative is one remedy for the rendering issue, marketers should also explore the benefits that accreditation and email certification can provide. To truly understand the potential value of these solutions as it relates specifically to the rendering component of email, marketers can learn from those early adopters that currently use email accreditation and certification today.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •5•

email marketers That Use email certification employ more relevancy-enabling Tactics Than Their Peers
While the adoption of relevancy-enabling tactics, such as the use of segmentation and dynamic content, continues to be rather low across the market, the survey data and interviews for this research suggest that accredited email marketers (AEMs) that use email certification are more sophisticated than their unaccredited peers (un-AEMs). However, the number of AEMs that are using these tactics was just below the JupiterResearch sample-size ranges; therefore, what follows should be looked at as directional evidence that there is a correlation between marketer sophistication and their use of accreditation. AEMs that use sender and message certification services also use more dynamic content elements in each mailing compared with un-AEMs. Just 29% of un-AEMs use four or more dynamic content layers, while the directional data based on the smaller sample of AEM marketers indicates that almost twice as many use four or more dynamic content layers. The same groupings directionally indicate that AEM marketers use more images in their email creative than un-AEMs. Clearly, one benefit of having images render properly is the increased use of images as well as features like dynamic content that accelerate image usage. It is logical that un-AEMs’ use of dynamic content would be lower as their images wouldn’t render at nearly as high a rate as AEMs’. This greater adoption of dynamic content suggests that AEMs employ deeper segmentation and testing, which signals greater sophistication and the use of tactics that empower relevancy. Additionally, the directional data indicates that AEMs use more segmentation, frequency caps, and testing than their unaccredited peers. Email certification lessens the burden of message delivery challenges and removes the hurdle of image rendering; the removal of these delivery and rendering distractions in turn allows marketers to focus more on implementing the tactics that empower and embody relevancy. Allowing images to render allows greater use of creative strategies, images, and the best practices that increase relevance and, ultimately, will increase the performance of the marketer’s mailings.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •6•

The revenue opportunities of relevancy are Further amplified By email certification
fig 4 The Percentage of Online Revenues driven By email Marketing — AeMs And Un-AeMs

Question asked: What percentage of your online revenue do you attribute to sales generated from your email marketing programs? (Select one) Source: JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

Marketers using email certification contribute more overall revenues than those email marketers not using email certification (see Figure 4). Eighty-eight percent of AEMs state that they attribute 3% or more of their online revenues to their email marketing efforts, compared with 52% of un-AEMs. Fiftythree percent of AEMs attribute 5% or more of their online revenues to their email marketing efforts, compared with 33% of un-AEMs. It is important to note that AEMs have larger list sizes, on average, than their unaccredited peers; however, their ability to deploy the tactics that drive relevancy and the benefits that they can realize when users can actually view the message appear in conjunction with higher open, clickthrough, and conversion rates.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •7•

Use of message-level certification correlates With higher conversion rates
fig 5 email Marketing Conversion Rates — AeMs And Un-AeMs

Question: Average unique conversion rate (total number of unique orders/ transactions divided by number of net email delivered for all campaigns in the past 12 months) (select one). Source: JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

AEMs have higher conversion rates than their unaccredited peers (see Figure 5). Sixty-eight percent of marketers using email certification have conversion rates of 3% or higher, compared with 40% of unaccredited marketers. AEMs also report higher performance on key performance indicators (KPIs) than the overall email marketing community. These claims include, on average: • A 12% improvement in email delivery rates. • A 7% improvement in unique open rates. • A 35% improvement in unique clickthrough rates. While there are well-documented variations in email measurement methodologies and the impact that the greater use of relevancy-enabling tactics has on these KPIs, the improvements collected in this survey correlate with the experiences of AEMs that JupiterResearch has interviewed in the course of its research. The improvements in these KPIs, particularly for conversion rates, cannot be dismissed, even on a directional basis.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •8•

recouping content development costs is Paramount as The rendering Gap is Wide
fig 6 Consumer ImageRendering Behavior And email Marketer Content development Costs

Question: Which of the following online activities have you done within the last six months? (Select all that apply) Source: JupiterResearch/NPD Consumer Survey (4/08), n=2,460 (US) Selected Responses and JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

Marketers must understand the costs of content development and place the proper value on recouping those costs. They must weigh up the ability to render images against the cost to develop and deploy those images in these times when image blocking is both an operational certainty and a broad challenge. This combines with the behavioral hurdle that requires subscribers to take an action before they can view these images. Change in any behavior is always slow and results in a widening gap between marketers’ ability to develop content and the ability of subscribers to see it. Forty-five percent of US active email consumers report that they added a sender to their address book or safe sender list within the past six months; however, only 28% said they turned on images in the emails that they receive (see Figure 6).

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness •9•

average Us email marketer content development costs
The following set of metrics emerged when studying the overall US email marketer operational averages. These included: full-time equivalents (FTEs) dedicated to content development and their salaries; the average number of images that are developed in a given month; and additional creative costs, such as hosting and image-licensing fees. JupiterResearch found that: • Monthly image development costs averaged $961.00. • The monthly salary of staff dedicated to content development averaged $7,277.00 • The average overall percentage of budget for salaries dedicated to content development was 50%. • The average number of FTEs dedicated to content development was 1.6. • The average number of images created per month was 55. • The average all-in annual content development and creative budget was $187,367.00 • The average image cost per thousand (CPM) was $0.35. Email certification is a remedy that represents an additional cost, but it is one that, in the face of consumer image-rendering behavior, may be necessary to recoup content development costs, as it drives higher mailing performance based on the ability for the images to fully render. This, combined with the greater optimization strategies including the aforementioned relevancy-enabling tactics, will drive more image production, thus lowering the per-image costs, as content developers will likely become more efficient at producing more images. However, truly comparing the value of the added email certification cost with the added performance benefits requires modeling the scenarios to prove or disprove the impact and value of the program.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness • 10 •

despite cPm Variance, accredited email marketers drive more revenues and Profit
fig 7 Campaign Performance Model — A Comparison Of Monthly Revenues And Profits Based On email Marketer Type

Metrics and salary costs based on JupiterResearch Executive Survey, CPM Overall and B2C $3.09, Accredited Email Marketer $5.59; assumes a $68 AOV with 40% product margin. Source: JupiterResearch 11/08 US only; JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

Based on the aforementioned KPI data and content development costs, JupiterResearch constructed a model to better measure the performance of AEMs in comparison with their peer groups. All the scenarios use the same monthly email volume of 2,765,300, which is the overall monthly average for US email marketers; they also use the actual average KPIs (e.g., response metrics, open rates) and the actual average costs for each marketer segment depicted in Figure 6. The model assumes a $68 average order size and a 40% product margin and represents an all-in assumption of the complete bottom-line benefits of the following three separate email marketer categories (see Figure 7): •	 Overall	email	marketers. This group includes all US email marketers and is based on the data from the above criteria. Their modeled performance without email certification would generate on a monthly basis just over $880,000 dollars in revenues and nearly $330,000 in profit. •	 B2C	promotional	marketers.	The performance measures from this group were slightly higher than those for all email marketers; this is likely due to the increased use of relevancy-empowering tactics, such as segmentation and testing. However, while they were more effective than email marketers as a whole, their performance was lower than that of marketers using email certification. •	 Email	marketers	using	email	certification.	Even after we factored in a higher CPM and higher labor costs, AEMs demonstrated the highest monthly revenues and profit — more than double that of the overall email marketing community. The scenario reported monthly revenues of nearly $1.9 million and a profit of approximately $724,000. The dramatic increases in this scenario can be attributed to the higher key performance measures, including: delivery rate, unique open rate, unique clickthrough rate, and conversion rate. Despite the higher costs, the return on investment (ROI) of image rendering can be found in this example. Email certification can deliver an ROI for marketers across industries and market segments.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness • 11 •

marketers must Prioritize email certification Benefits in The esP selection Process
fig 8 The Top five Most Important email Marketer Considerations When Selecting An eSP

Question What are your most important considerations when selecting an email marketing service provider? (Select all that apply) Source: JupiterResearch/E-Rewards Goodmail Email Executive Survey (10/08), n=202 (email marketers, US) © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

Cost is, correctly, the top consideration when marketers select an email marketing service provider (ESP) (see Figure 8). The impact of improving delivery and sender reputation ranks fourth overall in terms of considerations for selecting an ESP: 45% of email marketers cite the ability to improve their deliverability and sender reputation as an important consideration when selecting an ESP. Marketers must seek ESPs that can not only diagnose historical delivery issues but that can also support remedies that help eradicate issues of consumer trust in email as well as solutions that empower relevancy and drive sender revenues. Email certification is a solution that an increasing number of ESPs are providing across market segments, making it a tangible solution for most email marketers. ESPs with well-developed delivery and reputation management solutions and tools will likely benefit from the 47% of buyers for whom industry expertise is a paramount consideration and the first real tangible feature and product attribute on their list of considerations.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness • 12 •

The restoration of Trust and delivery Will drive Greater adoption of Targeting solutions and relevancy
fig 9 The Attributes Of Trust

Source: JupiterResearch 11/08 © 2008 JupiterResearch, LLC

The restoration of trust and confidence in email delivery will drive greater adoption of targeting solutions and relevancy. The restoration of trust and certainty of message delivery provides email marketers with time-saving bandwidth benefits. The removal of these items as significant challenges provides marketers with more opportunities to focus on improving their email programs overall — and more time to think about and employ the tactics and technology that empower relevancy. Further driving the restoration of trust will be marketers’ greater adoption of tools like dynamic content, which further enhance trust by improving the subscriber’s perception of relevancy. Such adoption gains will result in behavior similar to that of current AEMs and their higher level of sophistication in comparison with their unaccredited peers. The restoration of trust through the mechanism of email certification can and will stimulate the overall marketplace.

The attributes of Trust
However, to improve and restore consumer trust in email, marketers must understand the attributes that make up the notion of trust in the inbox (see Figure 9): •	 Perception	of	relevancy. The notion of relevancy builds trust. It is logical to assume that consumers show lower levels of trust in messages from senders that spam subscribers or that overburden them with irrelevant messages. If the sender is highly relevant and specialized, it is more likely that consumers will perceive it as more of an expert in that specialized domain. The perception of expert skills creates trust, which is driven by the customer’s perception of how relevant you, the marketer, are to them. You cannot be trusted if you are not relevant. Segmentation drives relevancy, which in turn drives trust. For example, the segmentation of occupations or skills by ability and experience shows greater trust placed in subject matter experts, expert witnesses, medical specialists, etc. Relevancy can also be altered by price, such as being relevant to only the segment that clips coupons from their Sunday newspaper; in this example, the perception of relevancy is based on value and cost savings.

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The ROI Of Rendering: Tactics To Improve Trust, Message delivery, And email effectiveness • 13 •

•	 Evidence	of	competence. Subscribers will place immediate trust in a brand logo and household name; they do so based on their measure of the brand’s evidence of its ability to be competent. Competence embodies how competent the brand is at other core trust measures, including honesty and benevolence (which are attributes of trust defined in conventional social sciences research). This is a measure of competence of how well the brand delivers on its promises at a macro level. However, trust is diminished when the subscriber can’t see the brand image that is the visual representation of the evidence of the brand’s competence. For example, Disney’s logo conveys a certain level of trust, which is based on the individual’s collective experience with that brand and that brand’s ability to be competent in delivering the value and experience that it promises to the individual. •	 Impact	of	influence.	Trust is also comprised of influence. A subscriber’s decision to positively or negatively view a brand is based on the aforementioned trust attributes, and the experiences of the subscriber’s larger social circle will collaboratively influence the notion of trust. Influence can drive the notion of trust and spread the adoption of a concept more quickly; one example is the use of automatic teller machines (ATMs). The collective joint experience of using these new machines that gave out and took in money was that these machines actually worked; as a result, trust spread quickly, which in turn drove adoption. The value of influence, its velocity and impact on trust cannot be underestimated.

image rendering can improve Trust and email effectiveness
Considering the low percentage of consumers (28%) that turn images on in their email client and the improved mailing performance of marketers who use email certification, the larger marketplace must evaluate if email certification is a solution to sagging response rates. This study illuminates the value and impact of using paid accreditation as a means of optimizing mailings and should be considered empirical evidence as to the costs and return on investment of ensuring that email marketing images will render and be trusted.

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JupiterResearch provides analyst research and advisory services to help companies develop, extend and integrate business strategies across online and emerging channels. Backed by proprietary data, JupiterResearch’s industry-specific analysis, competitive insight and strategic advice give businesses the tools they need to exploit new technologies and business processes. JupiterResearch is headquartered in New York City with offices throughout the United States and around the world. For more information on JupiterResearch’s services, including syndicated research and custom research tailored to the specific needs of your business, visit www.jupiterresearch.com, e-mail researchsales@jupiterresearch.com or call 800 481 1212 (North America), +44 (0) 20 7903 5020 (Europe) or +1 212 389 2032 (rest of world).

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