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While the survey confirms that Internet users with a higher education represent the best market for e-mail promotions, it reveals that the key factor for success is permission. Without a clear opt-in e-mail policy, e-mail promotions are bound to fail. Another interesting finding is the delicate balance between the frequency of e-mail messages and customer tolerance. Of those who currently receive e-mail promotions, almost half of the respondents would be willing to receive 1-3 messages a month. This is a clear customer message that Amazon and Borders seem to have studied (Amazon sent around 3 messages a month and Borders a little over 2), but that Barnes & Noble, which sends over 10 messages a month, did not seem to take into consideration.
E-mail promotions are not limited to well known brand names. The concluding chapter explores how a non-profit organization such as the IDB could use e-mail to promote book sales. The Internet is an inexpensive mechanism to do market research. The chapter concludes that for a non-profit organization with no budget for expensive marketing campaigns, and whose main purpose is to help accelerate the economic and social progress of developing countries, interactive marketing is an affordable way to reach new audiences and increase book sales throughout the world.