According to figures released this fall by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), spending on e-mail marketing grew from $116 million in the first half of 2005 to $158 million in the first half of this year, a healthy jump.


Unfortunately, the percentage of e-mail marketing’s spend compared to total online spending remained constant at 2%.

In a hot market, the annual "E-Mail Buyer’s Marketing Guide," from JupiterResearch, is much anticipated. This year, however, it contained a warning for e-mail service providers (ESPs).

According to Jupiter, if given the same services at a similar or reduced price, 32% of marketers that use ESPs may switch vendors in the next 12 months.

"As the e-mail market becomes increasingly mature, ESPs that lack tight integration with their clients, or a satisfying process and service experience, are susceptible to client churn," said David Daniels, Jupiter analyst.

In fact, the report itself is generating some churn — or at least more competition — among ESPs.

SubscriberMail put out a press release announcing it has achieved the highest marks in the guide for the second year in a row — and scored first in overall business value in the small and mid-size market category.

Not to be outdone, Responsys announced that it had scored highest overall among large-enterprise-oriented ESPs — "the second consecutive year that Responsys has earned the highest combined score in its category."

Quickly joining the fray, e-Dialog claimed it was named "the top performing" ESP based on its achievement of the highest combined score in value and market suitability among service-oriented ESPs.

Finally, a release from Silverpop noted that the Jupiter guide had cited it among the top large-enterprise-oriented ESPs offering outstanding business value and market suitability: "This is the third year in a row that Silverpop has been given one of the highest scores in its category and the fourth year it has scored in the top five in its category."