A report from Responsys found that email marketing campaigns were more popular in 2011 than ever before.

Responsys recently reported that the volume of email marketing newsletters sent by top retailers reached an all-time high in 2011. According to its analysis, Responsys found that the volume of marketing messages sent by the companies it studied rose 16 percent in 2011 over 2010.

In addition to sending more, it seems marketers tried to send better emails in 2011. In the past, subscribers became frustrated when receiving many messages since they were frequently the same. However, marketers adjusted their best practices to send newsletters containing fresh discounts, sale reminders and updated, timely content.

Responsys found that email campaigns were sent most frequently on Fridays, with 55 percent of analyzed businesses sending messages at the end of the week. Naturally, the holiday shopping season saw the most email marketing activity with an average of 15 campaigns sent in December. February saw the least monthly traffic with about 12 messages sent in its 28 days.

“Email marketing continues to become more critical to holiday sales, with the average number of email campaigns sent to a recipient during November and December growing at 20 percent year-over-year, outpacing annual growth,” Chad White, research director at Responsys, said in a release.

As email becomes a more critical component of web marketing campaigns, businesses are looking to expand their effectiveness. Brafton recently reported that pairing email marketing with social media marketing has led to 115 percent more engagement than seen with messages lacking social sharing features.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.