Businesses can elicit a number of benefits from email marketing, according to e-consultancy.

Customer acquisition is the primary benefit, the online publication said.

Even when a visitor doesn’t buy anything, extracting an email address from them means that their relationship with a site can be built upon further at a later date.

E-consultancy also pointed out that it is particularly important to capture a customer’s email address before they reach the checkout, as a significant proportion of customers abandon orders once at the checkout.

If those customers have not yielded an email address, there is no way of retracing them.

Email can also be used to enhance customer loyalty and to develop brand awareness and credibility, e-consultancy said.

Two further benefits for companies were efficiency and automation, as well as possibilities regarding customer services, it added.

UK businesses are believed to have spent £178 million on email marketing during 2006.

This indicates an increase of 20 per cent on 2005.

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