Here is a quick summary of some of the more important and/or interesting news stories on email marketing to cross the transom this week:

People Hate Too Much Direct Mail Less Than Too Much Email (via Marketing Charts)
Direct marketing company Epsilon published the results to their annual survey on consumer marketing preferences and reported that consumers prefer to receive marketing information via direct mail more than they like getting it through email. The reasons for this are not cited, though if I could choose which channel I’d prefer to runneth over I’d go with direct mail also as it’s easier to distinguish the wheat from the chaff while standing over the recycling bin. What is most telling from the study though is the category breakdown, which reveals that the more sensitive the information (health and financial for example), the more people prefer direct mail. The survey data was collected in June 2012, months before the Petraeus affair. Even then, I think consumer concern for inbox privacy was running pretty high. It’s likely even higher today.

Breathing Patterns Change When Reading Email (via Business Insider)
Well it’s no wonder my conference marketing conversion rate is low. You try selling a $1K registration to someone in “fight or flight” mode. It turns out, that’s exactly what you’re doing. A researcher has conducted a study of people’s breathing patterns while they read email and found that 80% exhibit what she calls Email Apnea, or breathing that stops or is interrupted while they work through their inbox. There are some long-term health risks associated with apneas of any sort (Sleep Apnea is the most common), but the near-term impact is that the oxygen and CO2 imbalance puts your subscribers in a mild form of fight or flight mode. Neither of those actions are particularly conducive to conversion.

YOU can be FREE BECAUSE our offer is INSTANTLY available and NEW! (via copyblogger)
Sometimes the best sources of email news come from outside of email. An article on copyblogger ranked what it thinks is the five most persuasive words in the English language, each accompanied by some research. Try using New, Free, Because, Instantly and New in your subject lines to see if they’re right. But they warn that even more powerful than the word you select is placing it in the right context. Please regard my sub-head above as a warning, not an example.

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